Like it or not, the famous Pennsylvania groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow on the morning of February 2, 2021. That means, according to legend, that we can expect six more weeks of winter. And while not a scientific prediction by any stretch of the imagination, the rodent may be spot on this year. So, ask yourself, is your organization prepared for even more winter weather and the potential problems that come along with it?
According to weather.com, Arctic air will soon bring dangerously cold temperatures to much of the country, and two more big snowmakers are now on the way for the midwest, mid-Atlantic and northeast. Blizzard warnings are now posted for parts of Iowa, and a second nor’easter in a week’s time may soon hit New York. (Keep in mind that New York City just received the biggest snowstorm since the record-setting blizzard of 2016.)
As published in a previous blog post, winter weather events pose a number of serious issues. Heavy snow and ice can weigh down tree limbs and power lines, causing widespread and long-lasting power outages. Roads can quickly become treacherous or impassible, leaving people without public transportation or even stranded in their vehicles. And, extremely cold temperatures can lead to bodily injury or worse, death.
Other winter weather problems plaguing organizations are roof damage or collapse, frozen pipes and subsequently, indoor flooding, equipment malfunctions, and of course, “slip and fall” accidents.
Depending on the severity and duration of winter weather events (and the many issues that come with them), organizations may have no choice but to modify business hours or close temporarily. They may also find it necessary to shift operations to other locations, or alternate facilities, until weather/road conditions improve or repairs can be made. Regardless of the situation, a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan is essential to working through such business disruptions.
If Punxsutawney Phil was right, and we must contend with six more weeks of winter, now may be the perfect time to review your organization’s COOP plan. Better yet, consider conducting a virtual exercise focused on a weather emergency. Spring doesn’t officially start until March 20, 2021, and a whole lot can happen between now and then.
Need help writing, updating, or exercising your organization’s COOP plan? Look no further than BOLDplanning. With over 16 years of experience, the company offers the powerful combination of cloud-based planning software and expert-level consulting services. Learn more now by calling 615.469.5558, or emailing info@BOLDplanning.com.