Across the globe, severe weather is a fact of life. The type of weather condition and its severity may vary from location to location, but it’s unavoidable and your organization will likely be impacted by it at some degree at least once. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, flooding, earthquakes, tropical storms, and much more have the potential to severely impact your business’ operations if you aren’t properly prepared.
DEFINING WEATHER RESILIENCY
Resiliency isn’t just about preparing your business continuity plan and checklist and having it in the hands of the managers and key stakeholders who need it, it’s about actively planning for the risks that may impact you and considering all possible outcomes. Once you’ve done all of that, a checklist can be developed to encompass what needs to be done regularly prior to a severe weather event, what needs to happen if a severe weather event occurs, and what needs to be done immediately following the natural disaster.
Without a team actively invested in the planning process, your business could face tremendous loss, not only in revenue but in work time, employees, etc. Severe weather events can, and often do, exact serious damage to assets, personnel, and day-to-day operations. More than that, your brand and the public perception of your organization are at risk, too. How you handle a natural disaster or crisis can make or break your place and/or reputation in the community.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED
As you’re developing a checklist, you’ll find there are several broad categories that need to be broken down into actionable items to help your organization maintain business continuity in the wake of a severe weather event.
There are five components of resiliency that should always be accounted for on your preparedness checklist:
- Communications (both internal and external)
- Alternate Means to Work or Home
- A plan to be implemented
- Trained and Aware Employees and Staff
- Practice and Preparation
Within those categories, some important questions to include, as well as associated answers in your checklist include:
- Who do I call? Having a list of critical people who need to be contacted immediately is a very high priority. Does our company have an emergency notification system in place that will assist our organization in communicating critical information during a crisis?
- What do I do first? A list of immediate actions and who is in charge of each is critical to bouncing back fast. (Utilizing an incident management system to assist your response team with communications and response coordination could be extremely helpful to ensure that your team is on the same page and effectively managing the incident.)
- What do I need to do next and what will my responsibilities look like over time (e.g. hours, days, weeks, etc.)? A list of ongoing actions because the impact of the event will not be a simple flash in the pan. It will be important to have a clear understanding of your organization’s pre-identified mission essential functions for execution and estimated recovery time objectives.
- What do I need to stop doing? Listing actions that should cease in the wake of a crisis is also an important step to getting back on track. Typically, there are less important functions that can be postponed, if needed, for hours to days to even weeks dependent upon the severity of the event.
- How do I return to normal operations once again? Normal may be relative in the wake of a crisis but it should be on the radar and all actions should move the company back toward the decided definition of “normal” for your organization. Returning to this “normal” is the end all goal for the company and what will ensure that your company is able to overcome the disruption.
There is much more to consider and include within your plan and checklist, but if you have comprehensively covered how each of the five components of resiliency will be applied to all levels of your organization in the face of a severe weather event, and how to answer the questions in the short checklist provided here, you’re off to a great start.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION
Implementing the communication piece in the wake of a severe weather event may not always be as easy as you hope or plan for. MissionMode can help you maintain business continuity and make post-crisis communication easy and effective. Check out our whitepaper on Severe Weather Preparedness and Resiliency or contact us to learn more.
MissionMode is the trusted leader in providing organizations with an effective and reliable emergency notification and incident management system specifically designed to handle your needs from end to end. Our Situation Center Suite acts as a virtual command center in times of crisis, helping your organization stay on track through both emergencies or more routine operations by enabling your team to effectively communicate and project manage incidents from onset to resolution. The MissionMode Notification Center allows our clients to send two-way multimodal notifications to employees during times of crisis.
From incident management to mass notification to interactive field communications, mobile control, integrated weather planning and more, MissionMode’s team of seasoned and certified emergency managers and business continuity practitioners are dedicated to being an intuitive and easy to use partner in your incident management and mass communication needs.