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How One Weather Station Can Transform Any Facilities Management Team

Facilities management teams enable the work of an incredible number of professionals, from teachers and researchers to accountants and dentists. Anywhere there’s a well-maintained campus or a beautiful office building, there’s a great facilities management team behind the scenes.

In the current climate (both in terms of weather and business), many facilities management teams are being asked to do more with less. In order to deliver the same great results while being more mindful than ever about the use of resources, facilities managers need daily intelligence on what kind of work is most necessary and impactful. A big piece of that is understanding the weather, not just generally but on site.

Moving forward, we’ll explore…

The connection between facilities management and the weather

As a facilities manager, the weather is one of your biggest enemies. It's unpredictable, both in terms of when it's going to strike and how it's going to affect the area you're responsible for protecting and maintaining. Weather spoils, reshuffles, and sets back an FM team's scheduled operations more than any other factor.

Of course, when severe weather does strike, the facilities management team owns a major piece of a campus or complex's resilience. The team musts prepare for and clean up after weather events in a way that keeps everybody safe while maintaining a high standard for professionalism and the appearance of the facility. Sometimes, that work puts facilities management or landscaping professionals at risk, whether it's from wind-blown debris, hail, or even lightning.

As major severe weather events become increasingly common, facilities management leaders need to stop thinking of weather as something that frustrates them occasionally and start viewing it as one of the overarching challenges of the space. By planning with and for the weather and not around it, FM teams can reclaim work hours that previously got lost in logistical transition time and uncertainty to serve better than ever.

Why facilities management teams need onsite weather stations

For facilities managers who want to enter the new era of weather readiness and resilience, the logical question becomes, "Where do you get your weather information?"

Most people assume the answer is "from a publicly available weather site," but while that information is useful for knowing whether or not to pack an umbrella, it's actually lousy data when it comes to making decisions about how your FM team should allocate assets.

A lot of the time, that information is based on data from a single weather station somewhere in or near your postal code, often a non-towered airport. If the complex or campus you manage is located right next to that airport, then the accessible forecasts will be useful to you. If you're located at a considerable distance from that arbitrary spot, at a different elevation, or in a different microclimate zone, then that forecast might as well be for somewhere in the next county in terms of precision.


Getting weather information that's relevant to your facility and your team requires onsite weather monitoring and data gathering.

If you know exactly when winds gust blow at 25 miles per hour on your campus, which direction they blow, and precisely when the event ends, you can make an incredibly timely and informed decision about when and where to send a landscaping or cleanup crew to assess the damage, clear walkways, and make the area safe. It sounds like some sort of vision of FM from the future, but it's 100% possible today using a weather station.

Furthermore, if you know when a thunderstorm is approaching your facility, you can coordinate with other operations teams to ensure everybody in the area is aware of the situation and kept safe. Data from a local lightning sensor combined with a greater lightning network can also help you create accurate countdowns that tell your facilities team precisely when to halt outdoor activities as well as the second they become safe to resume, maximizing your team's response and your facility's storm resilience.

That's what we call "hyperlocal weather intelligence," and it's the next revolution in facilities management.

How to use a weather station for facilities management

There are three essential pieces you need to get started:

  1. Weather Station: Your station is a unit loaded with sensors to measure weather conditions like temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and so on. For FM applications, you'll want a rugged weather station that's designed to stand up to long-term deployments in any conditions.
  2. Data Gateway: A gateway uses cellular data, WiFi, or satellite to transmit weather information from your station to a place you can review it. The kind of gateway you need will depend on your station and local communications service coverage.
  3. Interpretive Software: Software will help you visualize both real-time and historical weather data from your station so you can use it to make decisions. Ideally, that software should allow for alarm setting and custom notifications so your team can understand when to stay inside and when to spring into action.

Generally speaking, the process of launching your weather-ready approach to facilities management is straightforward. Obtain your station and sensors, install it and your gateway in a prominent place, claim the station in your software, and start measuring weather data.


With that said, working with a solutions expert early in the process is also key to getting off the ground smoothly. A weather monitoring specialist can help you understand exactly which equipment and approach is best suited to your goals, needs, and budget.

If you maintain a large campus or facility, building a multi-station weather network can provide even more specific insights into variation in weather conditions across your service area, helping you understand where your team's time and energy are most valuable hour-to-hour on any given day. Scaling that kind of system on your own can be tricky (especially if you're not familiar with weather tech), but again, configuration specialists can provide significant support to help you bring your vision to life.

Transform your FM team’s potential today

If you're a facilities management professional looking to increase your team's potential, productivity, and ability to deliver in the face of growing weather challenges, AEM is here to help. Our solutions professionals specialize in helping teams of all sorts -- from FM and landscaping groups to financial services and utility providers -- understand how to take the next step forward in terms of severe weather readiness and resilience.

Contact us today to learn more about how weather stations could be your team's new secret weapon.

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