Before Winter Storm Jonas struck the East Coast and the Mid-Atlantic in late January, business continuity teams were already hard at work preparing for the biggest snowstorm of the 2015/2016 winter season. Meteorologists issued warnings and predictions; government officials and community representatives from schools, hospitals and other organizations reacted; and communication was broadcast through multiple channels including newspaper, radio, TV, social media and push notifications encouraging people to stay home.
Public and private sector players had detailed plans in place, optimized from lessons learned in past storms which helped to minimize the disruption to the more than 50 million people in Winter Storm Jonas’ path.
Create a Plan that Considers Your Employees
These veterans of the Nor’easter know it’s better to create a plan well before it’s needed, rather than have nothing in place and wishing you had. The most successful plan and one that allows organizations to recover more quickly as well as retain employee loyalty, is a plan that considers not only the organization’s infrastructure, but understands the importance of human capital. During a weather event, employees will have split focus and responsibilities because they are not only dealing with professional disruption, they will have repercussions in their personal lives as well.
Mobility of Workforce Beneficial in Maintaining Productivity
As a result of telecommuting and an increasingly mobile workforce, organizations are typically better equipped to keep operations running remotely when severe weather threatens than in years’ past. However, it’s important to plan for remote working and test it out before being forced to do so when employees can’t make it to the office, as contingencies still must be built into the plan. During a weather event, the phone system may not have full functionality, the cell system might go down or networks might be overloaded with the increased usage. Alternative communication methods such as an emergency website, instant messaging and collaborative software offer solutions if your standard systems go down. Considerations for your remote plan should include prioritized access, expectations for help desk support as well as reduced workloads.
In order to minimize the duration and costs of a business disruption, a severe weather business continuity plan must be in place. With an average loss per hour of downtime estimated at $78,000 among Fortune 1,000 companies, any planning and prep work that you can do before the storm hits will definitely pay off. Since it’s a question of when a business disruption will occur rather than if your organization will face one, your team must adopt a business continuity plan to minimize your losses. MissionMode has the collaboration tools and expertise to help improve your business continuity program success. Please give us a call at 877-833-7763 or contact us online to discuss your unique circumstances.
How did Winter Storm Jonas impact you, your supply chain or business associates?