Planning for Extreme Weather Conditions
Source: Federated Insurance, June 21, 2022
As temperatures around the world continue to rise, scientific studies indicate that extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent. Unusually hot summers, warmer winters, dangerous heat waves, fluctuations in precipitation throughout the United States, increases in severe storms and wildfires, and changes to flood events and drought patterns are all linked to climate changes. These weather conditions can disrupt many aspects of your business — so what can you do to help keep it safe?
Do you have an emergency preparedness and response plan for your business? If not, now is the time to put one together. Emergency planning is a year-round endeavor, but pay extra attention before the start of severe weather season in your area. Consider “best practices” before, during, and after a weather emergency, along with actions to address potential unique challenges specific to your business’ facilities and operations. Ensure your plan covers your most valuable assets and operations, conduct regular training, and make sure employees have access to your response plan should they need it.
Specific weather trends vary by region, so be sure to do your research. If your business is located in an area where extreme weather conditions occur, or are occurring more often, you may need to plan ahead to prepare for what could happen. Consider these tips:
- Regularly test and service your air conditioner, heater, and generator to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Inspect vulnerable areas of your business and make necessary repairs and fortifications in advance.
- Ensure emergency systems are functioning and up-to-date, and that employees know how to report and respond to emergencies.
- Utilize a checklist to streamline your planning process.
- Check the Forecast.
While weather forecasts aren’t 100 percent accurate, they can offer a good starting point for you. If you have employees who are out on the road, or who have long commutes, keep them in mind when scheduling. Most meteorology services, such as the National Weather Service, publish their predictions a week or more in advance, and update them as conditions change. Start planning for road conditions early, but be prepared for last minute changes. If you deem the conditions too dangerous, keep your employees and vehicles off the road.
As extreme weather conditions continue to persist and intensify, keep in mind that you may need to plan for the highest-ranking threats possible to be prepared for the worst. Emergency planning can help make your business more resilient, and better able to withstand potentially extreme weather events.