As any PRO working in an area affected by thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other extreme weather conditions knows, you need to be proactive with your job tasks, when possible, before hunkering down and riding it out. If you’re going to protect your staff and units, ensure you don’t contribute to pollution, and avoid losing a ton of service to downtime, you’ll need to take preventative measures in advance of big storms.
We’ve gathered together the best advice from PROs who’ve experienced adverse weather and storms countless times. Their experience is invaluable in limiting the damage storms can inflict on your business.
No matter how sophisticated our weather technology, we often don’t know a storm is coming until it’s almost here. The last thing you want is for your units to be unprepared, somewhere in the firing line or too far away for you to get to in time.
Many PROs have invested in weather radios – portable radio receivers that broadcast public service weather reports. These radios will interrupt transmission with any emergency weather warnings, so you’ll always know what’s coming your way. They can be found relatively cheap, often around $25, so you may even give them out to your drivers if you feel the need.
The next step, and the most important of all, is to ensure your staff are always protected during storms and not sent out in dangerous conditions. It goes without saying that losing a unit to a storm is better than risking an injury, or worse. If you feel things are getting hazardous, send your staff home!
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rightly concerned with runoff from portable restrooms polluting water supplies, rivers, and other waterways. During a storm, sewage waste can easily get into storm drain inlets and infect the water.
Contrary to what many people may think, storm water does not get cleaned and does enter into rivers and waterways. Therefore, it’s extremely important that we do all we can to prevent polluting them.
Make sure, wherever possible, to not place portable restroom units near water drainage inlets. For more information on what you can do environmentally, see the EPA’s construction site guide.
If a storm is coming your way, do your best to collect whatever units you think are most vulnerable, especially those placed near waterways, without putting your staff in harm’s way.
If you can’t collect the units on time, the next best thing to do is stake or tie them down. They still might tip over, but do what you can to prevent this. For in-depth advice on preventing tip-overs, see our article here.
After a storm has safely passed, try to get all hands on deck for the cleanup. Survey the damage and get everything back in working order as soon as possible. If you need to replace damaged units, you might have to request some from another PRO. It’s a good idea, then, to have connections and agreements like this previously in place.
The PRO who gets back into action quickest is also the one who’s most likely to get business. After big storms, municipal departments and other cleanup operations may need portable restrooms of their own, so ensure you’re out and visible in the community right away!
Storms are one thing we cannot prevent, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan effectively for them. Remember these steps and you’ll be better prepared than most!
And finally: stay safe out there.