Whether you like it or not, weather-related disasters can strike anytime, so it is of utmost importance for your company to have a plan that will ensure the continuity of your business. Having a business continuity plan ensures that no matter how harsh the weather gets, you operations will remain resilient.
Of course, knowing the kind of weather you will experience is essential in your preparation. You can refer to the local news, or go online and look up weather reports. However, just looking at the weather news does not guarantee safety for everyone in your office, especially in the face of inclement weather. Plus, you do not really have the time to monitor the weather regularly, or your productivity will go down. What you need is a desktop weather alert system that will give you regular updates that can run on your desktop background, so you can still be informed while you are working on your other tasks.
Aside from using desktop weather alerts, your business continuity plan must include coverage of contingencies, such as the inability to gain access to your staff, to your facilities and to the technology you need for continued operations.
Ensuring the Safety of Your Staff
Your employees are your most valuable resource, so it goes without saying that their safety should be the top priority in your disaster preparedness plan. If you suddenly get a forecast about a snowstorm, what do you do? Do you send your employees home immediately? Do you keep them within the company premises until the storm passes?
If you decide to let them go home, then you must take into consideration factors like the time the storm will hit your area, your employees’ means of getting home and the time it would take for them to get home. No sense dismissing them from work if they would not be able to safely make it home. This is why it is critical to have desktop weather alerts to provide you up-to-date information about the weather.
On the other hand, if you decide to keep them in the office, you must ensure that there are enough supplies to last them at least three days. These supplies include water and non-perishable food items like granola bars, crackers, fruit cups and the like. There should also be mattresses, blankets, flashlights, medicines and other important supplies.
Having Backup Facilities
Severe weather will surely make an impact on your operations. There could be closures and days when people cannot come to work. Therefore, it is important that you have a backup plan when you and your staff do not have access to the office and to your facilities. Some of the things you need for your contingency plan include:
- An alternative site where work can be done
- A means of communication with your employees
- Work-from-home options for your employees
- Wi-Fi hotspot or cellular wireless cards if they cannot have Internet access from their homes
- Extra power options for laptops
- Methods of notifying clients about the interruption of services
Technology has greatly improved the way businesses can recover from disasters; however, you must also be prepared with backup systems. If you have an alternative location, make sure that it can accommodate your need for capacity, access to technology and other necessary factors for operations.
Making Your Plan Work
To make your business continuity plan work, you must analyze your operational needs and your strategies for recovery, especially with your most important resources in mind. To be resilient against weather-related disasters, your organization must have a plan that is regularly reviewed and updated as needed. Disasters will always come, but if you have are thoroughly prepared for them, your business will surely survive them.