Spring brings a cessation of colder temperatures and snow from winter, but it also brings a variety of business continuity threats of its own that companies need to ensure they are prepared for. The United States Small Business Association is offering a webinar on this exact topic on March 10, at 2 p.m. EST., titled "Preparing for Severe Spring Weather."
"We want to ensure small business owners are aware of the resources available to them to help them protect their employees, and are prepared to reduce the potential financial impact of weather risks and disasters," said U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho.
Here are a few tips from us on the type of crises you should anticipate during the spring, and how to prepare for them:
Flooding – Winter snow melts, especially after the serious of major snow storms we had this year, can cause excessive flooding in your area. For many businesses, flooding may not seem like a big deal, but it can prevent workers from coming in, damage facilities and cause a shut down of local utilities. Be aware of what your utility provider flood plan is, establish a line of communications between employees to check on their welfare and availability during a flood situation and create a strategy for coping with flood waters should one occur. Sandbags are a common investment for many businesses to help protect their facilities during a flood, and can be placed around entrances or the entire building to minimize water damage.
Power outages – A major power outage could spell trouble, and not just at your main offices. If you operate a data center, you'll also need to consider the local weather there in addition to your offices and have a continuity plan in place for a power outage at either. Investing in generators for you data center, or, if you use managed data center services, ensuring that the colocation provider has a strategy in place, will help protect half of the equation.
Storms – April and May are particularly rainy months, as winter snow melts and evaporates, and these rains can quickly turn into more extreme weather. From tornadoes to thunderstorms, such weather can be a threat to safety and business operations. From physical damage to your business facilities to the associated risks of a major storm, you'll need to ensure you're well prepared for these challenges. Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and incorporate a hot site into your continuity of operations planning to keep employees safe and productive if your main office is damaged by a storm.
Make sure your business continuity plan is up to the task of whatever this spring brings by hiring consultants to review and make recommendations for improvement.