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Winter brings unique continuity risks

Winter crises can be complicated by snow, ice and the cold.
Winter crises can be complicated by snow, ice and the cold.

Solid business continuity planning requires being prepared for anything and everything, and this means learning to adapt to the seasons as well. Winter brings a variety of challenges to continuity planning that companies will need to incorporate and adapt for that simply don't exist in the warmer months, and not just snow. Colder temperatures could cause power lines to freeze, plumbing systems could break and a firm's hot site could be rendered inoperable due to being shut down when not in use.

In order to optimize a continuity of operations plan and ensure every contingency is prepared for, businesses have to take a few winter-centric facts into consideration:

  • Colder temperatures are more likely to hinder recovery efforts.
  • Snowstorms can cause lost days of work, and therefore lost profits and productivity.
  • Holidays create unusual schedules for employees that have to be taken into account.

And these are only a few of the issues that winter presents. During a crisis, a business will have to contend with not only the issues affecting operations, but the weather as well. If employees can't get to the office, or to the hot site, because of ice and snow on the roads, it can complicate matters tremendously. Furthermore, if the heat is left off at the hot site to conserve energy and resources, it could take hours to open it up, rather than minutes – all factors that have to be considered.

Optimizing the recovery strategy isn't just about assessing the problem and resolving it, it also requires preparing for the unknown. This is why many companies turn to business continuity consultants to help make a foolproof plan for business resumption in the face of any disaster.