« Continuity of Operations Planning

Continuity of operations plans need to account for severe weather

Casinos in Atlantic City are just some of the businesses that are hoping to benefit from the city's new advertising plan, designed to bring customers back after Hurricane Sandy.
Casinos in Atlantic City are just some of the businesses that are hoping to benefit from the city's new advertising plan, designed to bring customers back after Hurricane Sandy.

It has been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Sandy swept across the Eastern Seaboard, however, the effects are still being felt. In addition to power outages and damages from strong winds and flooding, some businesses are simply trying to encourage customers to come back.

A comprehensive business continuity plan needs to account for a multitude of scenarios, including severe weather. Even after a storm has passed, sometimes extra steps need to be taken to ensure that daily operations can begin running to their full extent.

For example, Atlantic City resumed its advertising campaign of "Do AC." The city known for its nightlife and tourism aspects relies heavily on its customer base. According to a recent Associated Press article, the area is struggling to bring visitors back to local businesses.

"Due to Sandy's track, Atlantic City suffered minimal damage and reopened for business after five days," the article said. "But people are still not coming back in pre-storm numbers. The livelihoods of more than 40,000 employees in 12 casinos, plus hospitality industry workers at businesses catering to the tourism industry, all depend on a strong visitor base."

Additionally, a survey found that 4 out of 10 individuals wrongly believe the New Jersey resort's boardwalk was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. The source explained that the beloved landmark was in fact, unscathed by the hurricane.

The advertising campaign used a number of mediums, including a 30-second TV spot, a full-page ad in The New York Times featuring the boardwalk on November 28, and new radio and e-mail ads.

Resort towns that depend on tourism need to keep a current continuity of operations plan in place that accounts for the aftermath of severe weather. When customers can be assured that an area is open and safe, they will return in full force, ensuring immediate business resumption.