While there are various holidays spread throughout the winter months, filled with presents and family get-togethers, the frigid days are often accompanied by severe weather. Blizzards, sleet and even rain can cause dangerous road conditions, which might hinder certain businesses in meeting daily operational goals.
As employees might need to travel to work, it's important for companies to have an up-to-date business continuity plan that accounts for the possibility of adverse weather. A designated hot site could also be beneficial, offering team members another location to work from, if the normal office is inaccessible.
Washington is the latest state to be hit with wintry conditions, knocking down power lines and causing several areas to lose power.
According to the Associated Press, the highest winds hit Sunday evening with an 84 mph gust recorded at the mouth of the Columbia River and an 81 mph gust on the central Oregon coast. There was also heavy snowfall in the mountains, with 2 to 3 feet accumulating by Tuesday morning in the Washington Cascades, said Seattle meteorologist Ted Buehner
"A wide variety of winter weather is clearly affecting the entire state," Buehner told the news source. "It's the strongest storm of the year, so far."
The news source also reported that four construction workers at a cellphone tower project on Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon were stranded when their snow cat became stuck in a drift Saturday. The individuals had to walk through waist-deep snow to reach a heated shelter with electricity.
While it's not necessary for all companies to have shelters set aside for extreme blizzard conditions, businesses in all industries should ensure they have a comprehensive business continuity plan. That way, employees are prepared for a number of situations, and will know how to keep themselves safe while maintaining normal operations.