Record Winter Weather brings Wet Spring Worries (AKA Melting Snow)

Don’t become weather weary and forget to be weather wary!

This winter has been one for the record books.  Throughout the state we have set or tied records for the earliest trace snowfall, warmest temperatures, and record-breaking rain.  Just when we thought we were in for a moderate winter, the end of January showed up.  Ending the month with incredibly cold temperatures that broke or tied records that were a century or older, Mother Nature was just getting started.  In February she decided we needed snow… record breaking snow.

This spring will bring some additional challenges compounded by predictions from the Farmer’s Almanac of a wet spring.  As all of this snow pack begins to melt, areas around the state will see increased flooding risks.

Now is the time to begin planning for how to address those issues for your home and business.

Are you prepared for the wet spring weather?

Is your sump pump ready?

Simple solutions include ensuring your sump pumps are up to the challenge.  If your pump is older or gets a regular workout, it would be a good time to consider replacing it.  Consider adding a sump pump with an integrated redundant pump and a battery backup.

Make sure your things are in a safe place…

Also consider moving those irreplaceable items of sentimental value that applicable insurance coverage can’t replace, to a higher or alternative location.

Slips and falls are the leading cause of injuries. Be careful!

As we transition from colder to warner weather, one of the leading causes of injuries this time of year is slips and falls.  Particularly as we see temperature swings in and out of the freezing range, coupled with sunny weather.  This freeze / thaw cycle creates significant amounts of snow melt, that then refreeze.  Ensure that you have salt and/or sand readily available near walking areas to treat icy conditions as they rapidly develop.

Severe Weather is coming: Use these two resources to be prepared.

Along with the warmer weather and longer days comes the threat of severe weather.  Every year wind, hail, tornadoes, lightning, and flooding cause millions of dollars in damage, injuries, and fatalities.  Hazardous weather in Wisconsin in 2017 alone caused 10 fatalities, 29 injuries, and resulted in nearly $124 million dollars in damages ($41.4 million in crop damage).

Having a plan to be prepared for the inevitable severe weather we will experience will ensure you are safer and better able to overcome whatever Mother Nature throws your way.  Part of that preparedness is being informed and being aware of changing conditions that may develop in severe weather.

Use technology to anticipate severe weather

Today we are better equipped through technology to anticipate incoming weather and the anticipated severity.  While great tools are available, they should never replace a little common sense to expect the unexpected.  One tool I highly recommend is the phone app “Tornado – American Red Cross”. 

This free phone app available for both Android and iPhone platforms has personally saved me from driving right into an EF-1 tornado crossing the highway just a few miles ahead of me.  The app allows you to input multiple locations to monitor for home, work, school etc.  It also can deliver alerts based on your GPS location.  In addition to the severe weather monitoring, it is also a great source of preparedness information.  Information within the app can be delivered in English or Spanish.

It is also important to point out that every home and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio.  This again is an invaluable tool to being aware of what’s going on with weather expected in your area.  I always caution people that rely on the outdoor warning sirens.  These sirens were never intended to warn people inside a building, and are really a last resort warning to those outside.  Even then, you may not hear the sirens based on the winds or your distance from the sirens.  There have been numerous cases where the severe weather has already impacted an area before these sirens were activated.  Don’t bet your life on them.

Make sure you are ready for Mother Nature this year.  Stay aware of the weather conditions and make sure you have a preparedness plan for home and work.