March 13, 2017 - Weather Alert To Parishes

A powerful nor'easter will bring very heavy snow, ice, strong winds, and dangerous travel conditions from the Middle Atlantic to New England through Tuesday. The heaviest snowfall is expected to occur from the northern Middle Atlantic to Southern New England where 12 to 18 inches can be expected with localized amounts up to 2 feet. Strong winds could down trees and cause power outages.

At this time, we urge you to make the following preliminary preparations:

  • Closely monitor NOAA weather radio or other local news outlets for official storm information and changes to the forecast.
  • Some trees in our area may be more susceptible to wind damage due to stress from drought conditions. Immediately inspect trees and bushes. Remove dead or rotting branches that could fall and cause injury or damage.
  • Be prepared for potential power outages as a result of downed power lines caused by storm activity. Have an emergency supply kit on hand, including water, flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit and non-perishable food.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage to people/property.
  • Have window shutters/plywood covers accessible in the event windows need to be protected.
  • Check to see if sump pumps are working, and advise custodians to check all drains, grates and basins to ensure they are free of leaves and debris.

Shoveling Snow    
The National Weather forecast warns that snow may be dry and fluffy at the start of the storm, but will become wetter and heavier as the event unfolds. Shoveling will be problematic for those with physical ailments. If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel.

If not cleared off, snow accumulations will add weight and stress to structures and contribute to leaky roofs once the snow begins to thaw. Flat commercial roofs are most susceptible if they are not draining properly. Maintenance personnel should clear storm drains to minimize local flooding problems from this run-off. In many cases, roof ice dams can form, causing water build-up leading to interior damage. To minimize the risk of over-stressing a building roof due to accumulated or drifting snow, please take into consideration the following tips:

  • If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow rake (available at most hardware stores), do so. Use caution, as metal snow rakes conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line.
  • Try to avoid working from ladders, as ladder rungs tend to ice up. Snow and ice collect on boot soles and metal ladders.
  • Remove snow in layers uniformly across the roof to prevent unbalanced loads that might cause collapse. Avoid making snow piles on the roof during the removal process.
  • Large icicles can form on roof overhangs, but do not necessarily mean ice damming is occurring. Icicles overhanging doorways and walkways can be dangerous and should be carefully removed.
  • Use care with snow removal equipment (shovels, ice spaces, snow blowers) to prevent roof cover damage. It is not necessary to clean completely down to the roof surface as long as melting snow and water can freely flow to the drains.
  • Because snow is heavy and roofs and other surfaces may be slippery, all of the above mentioned actions should only be performed by able-bodied adults. Protective headgear and eye protection is recommended.

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls    
To prevent slips, trips, and falls, employers should clear walking surfaces and stairs of snow and ice, and spread deicer, as quickly as possible after a winter storm. In addition, the following precautions will help reduce the likelihood of injuries:

  • Wear proper footwear when walking on snow or ice is unavoidable, because it is especially treacherous. A pair of insulated and water resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.
  • Take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction, when walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway.
  • Make sure to place floor mats at entrances to reduce tracking in ice and snow.
  • Keep a shovel and bucket of de-icing salt near doorways for easy access.
  • Place “Wet Floor” signs in areas that tend to get wet from foot traffic.
  • Make sure walkways and stairs are properly lit.
  • Cancel non-essential activities, such as practices and games, to avoid compelling people to be out on the roads in inclement weather.

Property Damage     
If you experience property damage, immediately call the Office of Risk Management at 617-746-5743. For a list of service vendors, go to:

RCAB Contact List: