This article in The Boston Globe about massive economic losses due to severe weather is a couple of days old but the only thing that’s not current about it is, ironically, the verb tense. “Caused” should be updated to “still causing” given that for the third Monday in a row – with a couple of other smaller systems thrown into the mix in the interim – massive amounts of snow are falling in the northeast U.S. causing schools, highways and many, many businesses to shut down.
Granted, that figure pales in comparison to the damage caused by a typical hurricane. 1991’s hurricane Bob is the 32nd costliest storm in recorded U.S. history with more than $2 billion in damages but have you ever even heard of Bob? Nonetheless, $500 million is a lot of money. And the northeast U.S. isn’t faring any better this week. Cindy Fitzgibbon, Boston meteorologist with WCVB, said this morning that prior to January 23rd, Boston had only received about 5″ of snow this season but more than 6 feet of it in the 18 days since.
Given that severe weather is the number one reason FEMA declares disasters in the U.S., it makes me wonder how many companies have had to finally deploy staff to fail-over sites in order to ensure division or enterprise continuity. Similar in scale if not in origin, it reminds me of Continuity Housing’s handling of the urgent, massive and substantially prolonged need for deployment housing following the tragic Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010. At the peak of the response – which itself lasted four years – housing management was provided for thousands of people each night – month after month – saving millions of dollars for our client, not to mention sparing them the headache of managing the logistics of whose head was on which pillow in what building, as well as a nightmarish stack of invoices.
Is your company or organization currently deploying staff to keep operations running smoothly in response to the blizzards? If so, how’s it going? Comment (anonymously if you prefer) below. Business continuity management only improves with each shared experience and that’s the permanent goal: improving the solutions that we provide for our employers, our clients, our vendors, our employees and their families (and even their pets, if necessary). Here’s hoping the onslaught from Mother Nature lets up in the coming days and weeks. After all, the spring severe weather season is right around the corner. And then comes June 1st.
Both of the most recent webinars in the Association of Contingency Planners webinar series are now up and available for viewing at your leisure. Complete descriptions for both are available at the links below where you can watch.
- Recent Developments: ISO/Technical Committee 292, Security. Watch here.
- Bioterrorism Preparedness for Businesses: How to Stay Operational, Even During an Anthrax Attack. Watch here.
Posted by Fred Rogers on 10 February 2015.
Continuity Housing helps companies enhance their business continuity plans by pre-arranging guaranteed housing and providing logistical support for mission-critical employees during disasters. Subscribe to the Continuity Housing blog (in sidebar at right) and follow us on Twitter, on YouTube, on LinkedIn and on Facebook. To subscribe to our mailing list and/or if you’d like a free 30-minute consultation, let us know.