Anytime a winter storm is expected to hit, it is important to realize that it can (and most likely will) affect your business in many different ways. When you know how to not only prepare for a winter storm, but how to take action during a storm, then you will be able to prevent unnecessary disruptions. For those of you who own a small or startup company, being prepared during a winter storm, or any storm for that matter can make all the difference between staying open or having to shut down.
Winter Storm Stella
After weeks of semi-warm weather, an unexpected winter storm has rolled in hitting the northeast hard. The National Weather Advisory has stated that Winter Storm Stella is the biggest storm to hit this season and is “life threatening.” Those who will be in affected areas need to shelter in place and to only get on the roads if it is absolutely necessary.
In just the New York City area alone, there have been more than 2,800 flights canceled. As of 1am on Wednesday, March 15th Winter Storm Stella was documented as the heaviest snowstorm in Binghamton, New York with a record breaking 31.3 inches of snow measured at the Binghamton Regional airport. Even after Stella passes, there is expected to be lingering snow and icy roads causing un-drivable roads for possibly a few days.
How to Prepare Your Business
Preparing your business for a winter storm doesn’t have to be time consuming or costly, there are quite a few simple actions that you can take in order to keep yourself, your company, and your employees prepared.
Here are a few things you can do to be prepared:
- Include the names and numbers of heating contractor, plumber, fire department, insurance agent, and building owner in your Emergency Action Plan (EAP) so that they are readily accessible
- Keep contact information for all employees, vendors, and clients in a location that is readily accessible
- Have an emergency messaging system to send out alerts to employees regarding hazardous conditions, etc.
- Have an emergency supply kit in the office in case somewhere gets stranded and unable to leave due to hazardous road conditions
- Keep all important documents in a safe place, easily accessible location
Disaster recovery is equally as important as preparation for winter storms. Once the storm passes you need to immediately start figuring out damage and getting in contact with your employees regarding re-opening. Since some areas might be worse off than other areas, it is important to keep in mind that for the first few days after a winter storm there is great potential for a reduced workforce.
The absolute best thing you can do, is to plan ahead of time and create a very thorough EAP so that before, during and after an emergency you are able to know what to do every step of the way. Companies like Preparis can provide you with an all-in-one business continuity solution to make the process less strenuous on you and make sure that your EAP is compliant with local and federal regulations.
Here are a couple links you may find beneficial:
Click here to download the Preparis Winter Storm Checklist
Click here to download the Preparis Winter Storm Tabletop Exercise