By Melissa Petruzzi.
As autumn gives way to winter, most cemeteries are accustomed to experiencing a bit of a lull in business. For those located in more northern areas, winter preparations must be made. (We’re talking to you, Canadian partners!) With so many things included in winter preparations, it’s overwhelming trying to figure out how to get started.
Create a Winter Preparations Checklist
Regardless of any lull you might experience, there is no shortage of work at this time of year. From removing autumn and summer decor from gravesites to winterizing burial equipment, there are a lot of different areas of your cemetery that need attention as the winter season approaches. A great way to keep yourself organized is to create a winter preparations checklist that you refer to each year. You can create a detailed checklist specifically tailored to your cemetery’s unique needs, but here are some general examples to get you started.
- Remove leaves and debris
- Remove autumn decorations
- Winterize burial equipment
- Prepare snow removal equipment
- Protect gravestones against the elements
- Maintain landscape and cemetery structures
Take Advantage of Downtime
When winter sets in and your cemetery is prepared outdoors, turn your attention indoors to clerical work. Make use of your increased downtime by putting critical cemetery procedures in place for future years. Consider revising your rules and regulations or creating them if you haven’t done so in the past. Post your policies on social media and your website so your visitors are aware of them before they arrive. The holiday season is also a good time to make sure your policies regarding gravesite decorations are up to date. Updating these rules now could save you valuable time and labor in the future.
Another extremely useful activity for your time indoors is organizing and cleansing data. This can be a crucial step if you are considering making the switch to software. If you’ve already chosen cemetery software, winter is a great time to implement it and let your staff get used to it.
Bring it All Together
These are just a few ideas for how you can make the most of your time during the winter months. Use them as a starting point and change them to fit the needs of your cemetery. However you choose to do it, we hope the winter goes smoothly for you!