What’s your severe weather risk?

Recently, the United States experienced a once-in-a-lifetime weather event when temperatures dropped drastically to record lows.

The National Weather Service in Chicago predicted it would be the chilliest Arctic outbreak since records have been kept. Biting winds caused the wind chill to hit life-threatening lows. In Thief River Falls, the AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature was -77° F!

The real threat of the polar vortex was felt in the workplace as work days were canceled, employees called in, and the post office shut down. “The words “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” – but the frigid temperatures did, and as a result, delayed shipping for two days.

Severe weather is becoming a more common risk to businesses worldwide. Houston, Texas has had three 500-year floods in the last five years. The California wildfires affected the agriculture industry, impacting wine, fruits, nuts, livestock, and poultry production. The 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear event in Japan caused a suspension of production of Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki.

The Ultimate Guide to Inclement Weather Planning: Every Incident Requires a Unique Response

Enhance your organization’s inclement weather plan with more information and critical steps from this guide. Download The White Paper »

Risk management means you’re prepared for an event and have procedures in place to limit impact, but you have to know what you’re facing and be prepared with a response. In case of bad weather, risk management is often emergency preparedness. Do you know your severe weather risk? Here are three ways to assess how severe weather could impact you:

1.    Check location-specific concerns from the past through a Google search.

If you’re in the U.S. Midwest, you likely know tornado season is March – June. Similarly, coastal states should check hurricane and typhoon seasons. Make a list of threats and how often incidents occur. But don’t forget lesser-thought-of risk events like polar vortexes, severe thunderstorms, dust or hail storms, and blizzards.

2.    Look at your supply chain and their severe weather risks.

Your office likely isn’t the only one who will face severe weather. If you get components or products from another state or country, you need to know what could affect them too. By listing risks for your supply chain, you can create back up plans if a crisis happens.

3.     Inventory operations that could be disrupted by a weather event.

There are many areas of operations that could be affected by severe weather. If a power outage hits your call center, you’ll have angry customers on perpetual hold. If a tornado hits your distribution center, you’ll be unable to send out packages customers expect. Take an inventory of your operations and how severe weather could impact them. Then order them by possibility and impact. Power outages during storms are more likely than a flood in most cases, but a flood could be more devastating.

Regardless of your location, being prepared for a weather emergency is a crucial part of managing risk. The threat of severe weather goes beyond just your base and can have long-lasting effects on your ability to maintain continuity of delivery. 

The Ultimate Guide to Inclement Weather Planning: Every Incident Requires a Unique Response

Enhance your organization’s inclement weather plan with more information and critical steps from this guide.

Download The White Paper