While I may be a Southern lady now, I was a Minnesota girl for the first 22 years of my life. Consequently, I am no stranger to snow, shovels, sleds, and the like.
Now that I live in the South, my Minnesota friends are laughing at me and my fellow Southerners every time it snows and our cities shut down. But y’all, it’s different down here.
We don’t have plows. Our pipes are not well insulated. We don’t know how to drive on ice and snow. For the love, many of us don’t even own gloves, much less ice scrapers.
So, when we have a “major snow event” where we get five inches of snow like we did last Friday , it’s a thing. Schools are cancelled. People are advised to stay off the roads. And our children improvise sleds out of boogie boards or flattened boxes. As a tenant representative, I work from home.
Unfortunately, snow days look a lot different for my co-workers who manage office and medical buildings on behalf of our clients. I asked Kathy Huckabay, a Birmingham property manager, what was on her mind Friday and received this list:
- Spread sand and Ice Melt at all building entrances and stairs prior to the arrival of tenants. When it starts snowing in the middle of the night, our property management staff is up crazy early to ensure our buildings are safe by 8 am.
- Run the building heat. The temperature had been in the high 60s earlier in the week, so this is important to remember.
- Turn exterior water spigots off.
- Make sure any generators are topped off. We regularly lose power in the South when it snows.
- Sweep any ponding water away from walkways to prevent ice and the ensuing slip and fall injuries.
- Set out caution cones. Maybe these are not necessary in the North where people are accustomed to icy sidewalks, but in the South, they are a must.
- Have the janitorial, security, and maintenance personnel keep Ice Melt/sand, cones, and a shovel in their truck beds.
To their credit, last week our property management staff kept all of our tenants safe while working very long and full days. If you are a tenant in a southern office building, today would be a good day to give a nod to the kind and knowledgeable people that keep it all together when snow makes the South falls apart.