Off-Season Mock Snow Storm Training for Serious Snow Pros


By Phil Harwood

As you know, snow and ice management has become a year-round business. In other words, there really is no “off-season.” Instead, there are important tasks to be accomplished in each of our four seasons. During the summer season, one of the recommended tasks is to begin holding mock storm training sessions. This is an excellent way for those involved in snow operations to learn how to make better decisions during snow events without the risk of making a serious mistake during an actual storm. 

In my experience, very few snow contractors hold mock storm training sessions. It is only the most serious and the elite in our industry that do so. But if you’re interested in joining the ranks of the elite, this is something I recommend you consider adding to your snow program. 

The biggest excuse I hear about doing anything in the summer related to snow is that “we’re too busy.” My response is always the same: why would you sacrifice your most profitable service (snow) to focus on lower profit services (summer work)? It should be just the opposite. And, like I mentioned, snow and ice management has become a year-round business. It is not something that can be ignored all summer if you want to be an elite provider. 

Mock storm training sessions are just as they sound. They involve a pretend storm that is on the horizon. The storm is going to hit in next week, according to your weather service. What is going through your mind? Who is responsible for what aspects? How will you ensure that every detail is attended to and nothing is missed? 

As the storm gets closer, the mock training usually involves a set of issues to deal with. One of your managers is sick or unavailable for some other reason. One of your key operators just quit. The storm changes in terms of its magnitude. Or whatever you come up with. How do these issues affect your plan? What decisions are made? Who is making them? Are they the right decisions?

Now, the storm is here but it’s changing from heavy snow to rain-snow mix and then back to snow. How does this affect your operation? How are you communicating with clients about the changes being made? Is your management team seeing the options and making the right decisions? 

All of this mock storm activity is done in a conference room. Nobody is getting into a truck or a loader. This is a hypothetical scenario to work through how to handle issues that arise and how to make better decisions. 

If there is no training, then the first opportunity your management team has to cut their teeth is during an actual event. This is extremely risky business. No serious snow operator would put themselves in this position. 

Thankfully, there is a way to obtain mock storm training without having to reinvent the wheel. The Snowfighters Institute is holding two-day training sessions – including mock a full mock storm training session this summer. Levi Jett from Jett Facility Solutions will lead the mock storm training session and you will not want to miss this exceptional educational event. We are offering two opportunities this summer: 

  • July 24-25, 2024 in Milwaukee, WI
  • September 11-12, 2024 in Leesport, PA

Registration is now open for both OPS Management events. Click here for more information.

Separately, you are invited to attend my free webinar next week Tuesday, July 2 from 12:00-1:00 ET on successful snow subcontracting. Click here to register. 

What you will learn by attending the webinar:

  • Learn how to grow your business profitably with subcontractors
  • Gain valuable insight into how to structure your organization for success with subcontractors
  • Learn how to find great subcontractors, on-board them, and maintain ongoing quality relationships
  • Learn best practices for negotiating prices, compensation, and incentives to keep subcontractors engaged and committed
  • Learn how to avoid legal issues with subcontractor relationships

Who should attend the webinar?

  • Owners, senior managers, operations managers, office managers, and anyone else involved with selecting, on-boarding, buying-out, managing, or paying subcontractors.

Now go forth. 

Tags: Events , SnowPros , Mock Storm ,