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East Coast faces another round of ice and snow

A wintry mix continues to cause problems for millions of Americans before the long weekend.
A wintry mix continues to cause problems for millions of Americans before the long weekend.

We talked about Georgia's continuity planning in advance of Wednesday's storm, but other parts of the southeastern United States weren't as prepared. 

According to Mashable, many residents in the greater Raleigh and Charlotte areas abandoned their cars, on the way to the Duke University-University of North Carolina basketball game — even though local police departments told them not to. Traffic got so messy in North Carolina, online photographs look much like ones that were taken in Georgia a few weeks before.

A wintry mix of snow and freezing rain left layers of ice on many trees, highways and homes. Communities that weren't prepared with a continuity of operations strategy and had to deal with such conditions experienced significant confusion.

"Stay smart. Don't put your stupid hat on at this point in time," North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory told residents during a press conference. "Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your neighbors."

At one point, the National Weather Service predicted that snowfall could be accumulating at 1 to 2 inches per hour. As the storm works its way up north toward Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, they will have to endure a multifaceted weather experience.

Just about every airport in the storm's path canceled a majority of its flights, impacting more than 5,500 travel arrangements, according to FlightAware.com. The Northeast may have more experience with winter weather, this is one of many systems to impact this region.

"While a change to rain can occur along some of the I-95 cities and most areas along the coast, this will be a major storm throughout the corridor with enough snow to make for slippery roads and difficult travel," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams told a FOX News affiliate.

Economic impact of this wintry mix

Whenever inclement weather occurs, businesses can lose out on thousands or even millions of dollars when it affects a large population. However, this specific system could not have occurred at a more unfortunate time: Valentine's Day is tomorrow. This Hallmark holiday generates about $17.3 billion every year in the United States, the Journal-News explained. 

Americans who ordered floral arrangements online, made restaurant reservations or planned on buying a gift for their significant other may be out of luck if the weather doesn't let up. Furthermore, because Presidents' Day falls on the Monday following Valentine's Day, businesses may fall far short of their revenue projections for the long weekend if planned events fail to attract customers. 

Although weather-related disasters are out of an organization's control, there are ways to alleviate these potential losses. Business continuity consultants can help figure out alternative ways to make the most out of each situation.