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Checklist: Cleaning Up After a Winter Storm

Severe winter storms can bring a number of risks, including frozen pipes. While there are concerns during the event, much of the storm’s damage may not be apparent until after the temperature rises and ice begins to thaw. To help minimize the risks and mitigate damage after a severe winter storm, consider taking the following steps at your facility:

  • Conduct a daily inspection in and around the building to look for evidence of frozen pipes – such as low water pressure, pipes covered in icy residue, water leaks, bulging pipes – and assure that the heating system is operational. Be sure to check under cabinets, on water lines running along an outside wall and in other areas where pipes may not be heated. During times of extreme cold temperatures, it may be beneficial to conduct these checks several times a day.
  • Frozen pipes can occur days after a significant cold snap. There may be no evidence until the weather warms up and water begins to flow again. Continue to conduct regular property visits.
  • If you discover a frozen pipe(s), do not attempt to thaw the pipe(s) yourself. Instead, immediately contact a professional plumbing contractor to safely thaw the frozen pipe(s).
  • To prevent frozen pipes, the American Red Cross recommends keeping indoor temperatures no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If the facility’s heating system cannot maintain this temperature, contact a professional HVAC contractor immediately. Keeping the indoor temperature well above freezing has proven to help minimize the exposure to frozen pipes and subsequent water damage.
  • If you suspect water damage has occurred, shut off the water and contact a mitigation vendor and your insurance agent immediately.


If your facility experiences damage due to a severe winter storm, the GuideOne® Claims team is ready around the clock to answer your call and deliver a timely response. For an easier and expedited claim reporting process, have these pieces of information ready when you call us.

  • GuideOne policy number
  • Date of loss
  • Name and contact information of all parties involved
    • Phone number, mailing address and email address
  • A description of what happened
    • Ex: Pipe burst in bathroom causing water damage to flooring; insured was rear-ended by a third-party vehicle.
  • Property location(s) involved, including specific address(es)


Need to file a claim? Call 888-748-4326 or email


© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.