Recommendations from AccuWeather’s business continuity experts on incorporating weather-related hazards into an organization’s emergency plan.
Actionable Information Site-and-threshold-specific alerting is critical in an emergency plan
Test your procedures Annual discussion-based exercises inform necessary changes
Adaptable plans Regular evaluation and updates ensure incorporation of organizational changes
Weather impacts every single facet of business – from shipment delays, to product availability, store openings, employee safety, and more. With businesses now facing more frequent and severe weather-related threats than ever before, it’s critical to have a comprehensive plan in place.
The following are recommendations from AccuWeather’s business continuity experts regarding the incorporation of weather-related hazards into an organization’s emergency plan.
Start with a Risk Assessment
A detailed weather hazard risk assessment should be part of every organization’s business continuity and emergency preparedness reviews. These assessments allow organizations to review the past year’s events while updating existing business continuity plans with any changes to assets, processes, or vulnerabilities. As business processes constantly evolve, a plan created five years ago is no longer applicable to the present organization. To ensure continuity plans continue to utilize relevant and executable strategies, executives should include an annual evaluation schedule within the plan.
It’s valuable to partner with experts in meteorology and risk communication who are able to readily provide historical weather data and help translate that data into actionable information for your organization. Executives can work directly with meteorologists and emergency preparedness experts at AccuWeather for Businessto help inform their risk assessment and emergency procedures, tailoring them to their specific business needs.
Build Confidence with Scenario Planning
Emergency weather plans should be exercised (or tested) at least once annually, evaluated for effectiveness, and improved as needed. While the activation of a plan during a real weather emergency will provide an organization with invaluable feedback, a discussion-based “tabletop exercise” is a safer and more predictable test of your plan. A tabletop exercise is a discussion-based activity that will test your organization’s emergency weather plan and identify any new gaps that have grown out of new organizational processes, products, or operations present at the site. This type of exercise requires minimal resources and will enable you to identify health and safety gaps prior to the threat of a live event.
During this exercise, employees will discuss a weather-related scenario using the current emergency and business continuity plan and document any plan gaps, shortcomings, or needs that were identified. Following the exercise, a discussion summary and any proposed changes or issues that need to be addressed should be drafted. Once this "After Action Report" is complete, plan changes can be disseminated to all employees. An AccuWeather meteorologist can help your organization run this tabletop exercise, providing an accurate scenario based on their experience and expertise.
Adapt to Changing Operations
This past year highlighted the importance of a robust and adaptable business continuity plan. The shift to a remote workforce led to an overhaul of previous plans, requiring significant revisions and adjustments. With employees continuing to work remotely, executives should now consider an entirely new set of risks, including potential location-based power and internet outages or even evacuations as a result of tropical systems.
As hard as executives work to mitigate all potential hazards to their business, disasters and crises happen, and weather plays a larger factor. Executives can take steps to minimize event impacts through proper planning and preparation. With AccuWeather for Business, executives can feel secure in the face of inclement weather and know their people, property and production are protected.
Partner With Us
A key part of any emergency plan is real-time communication that is accurate and actionable. AccuWeather’s SkyGuard® service delivers weather alerts specific to an organization’s thresholds, determined by their risk assessment, and includes emergency procedures. These alerts are location-driven to an asset’s exact address, alerting companies and employees no matter where they are based.
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