Christmas Eve, 1861: California. It began to rain… hard. And it kept raining, almost without stop, for a month and a half.
The Central Valley was devastated—with parts of Sacramento drowned under ten feet of water. Thousands of people died, and the state eventually went bankrupt.
A disaster on this scale is hard to imagine today. But imagine it we should—scientists estimate that even three weeks of this kind of rain in 2015 could cost $400 billion or more. (To say nothing of the threat to the six million people who currently live in the region.)
Yet with October 2015’s storms in drought-stricken California, thoughts of flooding, mass destruction and significant loss of life are fresh in business continuity professionals’ minds.
The mid-October storms brought much-needed rain, and enough snow to the Sierras to ensure a good winter sports season, but that rain and snow also came accompanied by damaging winds that downed trees and electric lines, flooding, mudslides and massive traffic interruptions.
One NASA climatologist, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in early November, put it bluntly:
“El Niño’s here. At this point, we’re just waiting for the impacts in California. Mudslides, heavy rainfall, one storm after another like a conveyor belt. If you think you should make preparations, get off the couch and do it now. These storms are imminent. El Niño is here. And it is huge.”
Severe weather like this not only interferes with the lives of individuals and communities, but can also wreak havoc for business.
But as the climatologist said, since we know the storms are coming we can “get off the couch” and prepare today for the deluge tomorrow.
That means putting into place contingency plans to help mitigate mass absenteeism, and having a way to reach everyone who can help if systems lag because of outages.
“But wait,” you might be thinking. “We’re not in California, so we’re in luck.”
Maybe so, but when you consider the potential kinks in the supply chain that might affect either incoming materials or outgoing goods, you must prepare.
Get ready now by downloading one our guides on preparing for just about any interruption, available for free on our resources page.
Interested in finding the best mass notification system to complement your business continuity program? Download the Automated Notification System RFP Template.