Businesses prepare for the worst that winter could bring this year

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It is winter weather awareness week in the state and one group is working this week to get area businesses together to get ready for the worst old man winter can offer.

"Even though last year was very mild, I think this is Wisconsin and that when we roll the dice, sooner or later we'll have a bad winter again and it may happen sooner than later.”

It's easy to forget but it was only two winters ago that over 20 inches of snow fell in the Chippewa Valley, bringing the city to a halt. All the more reason that Disaster Ready Chippewa Valley says businesses need to be ready for severe weather in the winter.

"We talked about the freezing pipes and making a plan for making sure that your business is as energy efficient as possible. Preparing your parking lot for customers and sidewalks."

Marge McFarlane runs a consulting company and is on the Disaster Ready Chippewa Valley board. They've put together a winter weather checklist for companies.

"It just talks about all the little things. Do you have health insurance, do you have a plan for clearing your ice and snow, and do you have a plan for communicating with your employees. You know if you lose your computers how will you back up your data. Things like that."

Randy Beck is the executive vice president of corporate risk management at RCU. He explains the importance of having a plan, "we prepare and that's probably the most important thing you can do. The last thing you want to do is be in the middle of an emergency and not know what you're going to do."

On Wednesday, disaster ready will be holding a seminar to help businesses tackle the daunting task of developing a business preparedness plan.

"We’ve got some speakers coming that are going to talk about what you do in the case of emergencies. What is available to you? How to use different resources in the area, and again probably the most important thing is that you'll be able to network with other businesses."

For more information about Disaster Ready Chippewa Valley and the seminar on Wednesday, click on the link below. There you can also find a winter weather checklist for businesses.

Disaster Ready Chippewa Valley Webpage

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