Preparing for the Unpredictable

It’s almost 70 degrees where I live in Wichita, but travel to western Kansas and you’ll find road, business and school closings amid blizzard conditions. Travel to eastern Kansas and you’ll experience tornado warnings. It’s a good reminder that no matter where you live, weather can be unpredictable and it’s smart to prepare for the worst.

Fall and winter weather can mean rain, wind, snow and ice, which can translate to wet bookstore floors. Take 300 Seconds to prepare for your next snow (or tornado) day. Here are some things to think about:

  • Snow shovels and snowmelt. If you can keep a path clear to your front door, customers will be more likely to leave their cars to come into the store. Just like an “open” sign, it shows that they are welcome and, more so, that you appreciate them as shoppers.
  • Mops, rugs or towels. Keep them near your front door to clean up puddles or to offer customers an opportunity to wipe their feet. This is especially helpful if you use salt or snowmelt. These products can make sidewalks safer, but they can prematurely age your hardwoods and carpets. Encouraging the wiping of feet can help prevent the transfer from shoes to floor.
  • Umbrella storage. You could offer plastic bags to prevent dripping all over the store, or perhaps hooks or a coat rack in the foyer.
  • “Caution: Wet Floor” sign. (This is the same sign used during floor cleanings.) Even though you try to keep up with the puddles brought in by wet feet, prop up this sign during foul weather… just in case you missed a spot. This will hopefully promote careful stepping instead of purposeful walking, slipping and falling.

Whether it’s snow, rain or tornado weather, be sure that your staff knows about any emergency weather procedures. It might seem like common sense, but to have a step-by-step procedure in place for new employees will help remove the guesswork.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she’s a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type.

@BethGolay