It began at the first sight of snow last Tuesday. Georgians not used to dealing with frigid temperatures and inches of the white stuff saw the news and the weather predictions, but the storm was coming fast. They all left their offices, errand spots and places of business seemingly at once around noon to pick up children who had been released early from school and head to the safety of their homes.
Highways surrounding Atlanta rarely see snow, but last week they were covered with ice, causing cars to crawl, slip and slide off the road or bump into each other. What resulted was a massive traffic gridlock so severe that typical 30- or 45-minute commutes turned into six-hour treks. Motorists abandoned their vehicles to walk home or to nearby refuges if home was too far away. And the delays were so severe that a baby girl was actually delivered alongside Interstate 285 during the storm and hundreds of school children and residents didn’t make it home until the next day.
The total snowfall, according to the National Weather Service, was 3 inches. While this amount barely qualifies as a storm in the northern United States, it paralyzed the South. Not only did inexperience driving on slippery surfaces come into play, but the city also doesn’t have big fleets of salt trucks or snowplows to deal with one of Mother Nature’s temper tantrums that arrives this fast and furious.
Winter Storm Strategy #1: Act Quickly
Mobilizing immediately, 40 of HighGrove’s vehicles hit the roads during the first 30 minutes of the storm. For the next 72 hours, HighGrove was on the clock, totaling 2,000 man-hours. The company had to deal with the same traffic congestion as all other Georgians, but its crews were still able to make it to their clients’ properties to lay 62 tons of ice melt to help thaw and dissolve the thick, slick frost from surfaces.
What helped them move so quickly? Tactical and smart planning.
Winter Storm Strategy #2: Strategize and Mobilize
Acting quickly enables HighGrove to clear Atlanta commercial properties of snow and ice quickly, but strategic advance planning played a key role, too.
The weather predictions provided HighGrove with enough solid information to begin preparations. Beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning — well before the storm hit — all HighGrove maintenance vehicles were stocked with ice melt and turned into snow preparedness vehicles. HighGrove also stored ice melt in three additional points around the city so traffic delays couldn’t stop nearby vehicles from accessing the product and applying it where it was needed.
Also, several HighGrove clients who were concerned about the coming flurries requested to be pre-treated with ice melt before the snow and ice arrived. HighGrove was happy to oblige. With this level of planning and forward-thinking, these locations ended up being more prepared than the City in battling this wicked Atlanta storm.
These businesses were also able to prevent liability issues that come with inclement winter weather, such as slip-and-fall accidents on their properties.
Winter Storm Strategy #3: Learn From It
Want to be better prepared for the next winter storm Mother Nature brings Atlanta’s way? Though these winter storms are an anomaly, it’s important to have a snow and ice management plan in place for your business when one does strike, so you can act quickly with a strategy.
HighGrove Partners can help. We keep eyes on up-to-the minute weather forecasts and monitor developing storms so we are ready to keep our clients’ properties snow- and ice-free.
We have the dedicated equipment and manpower essential for busy Atlanta commercial property managers who want a reliable, efficient partner — and we’re committed to keeping your property safe and accessible all season long, no matter the weather. Give us a call at 678-298-0550 or use the contact form to the right so we can discuss your snow and ice management plans.
In the meantime, for more winter landscape tips to get you through the season, be sure to subscribe to our blog.