Extreme weather patterns are becoming more and more common across the UK, with floods one minute giving rise to high winds or heat warnings the next. We hear a great deal about the misery such weather causes to motorists and homeowners, yet businesses are just as likely to suffer when bad weather hits.
From snow flurries making business premises unreachable to heavy winds knocking out power lines, there are many issues that can affect businesses when Mother Nature gets feisty, and whilst some eventualities simply can’t be planned for, many such weather-related problems can be avoided by taking focussed steps in advance.
Testing Your Defences
The easiest way to see how hard your business would be hit by extreme weather is to run a mock exercise to demonstrate how your business would cope if heavy winds, rain or snowfall were to hit your area. Looking at everything from electricity supplies to phone systems, it will be important to test out how your business would be able to respond in such circumstances and whether work processes could continue or whether your whole company would come to a grinding halt.
In this step, consider how you would operate if one or more systems was out of action for an extended period of time, assessing other services or systems you could integrate into your business to facilitate a transition to alternative processes.
For example, if electricity was to go down for hours or even days, could you continue to carry out important tasks? As the storms experienced over the winter showed, this is not an unlikely scenario, and those who have access to landlines, business mobiles and even backup generators are going to fare far better than those who rely solely on computers and the internet.
Implementing Mobile Procedures
Installing and maintaining a backup generator may work for larger businesses with more resources, but for smaller companies it may not be an option. However, in this case the use of the right telecommunication solutions will ensure that business can continue as normal, albeit remotely.
If premises become flooded or lose power for prolonged periods of time, so long as individuals have access to data and communication tools from anywhere, business can continue from alternative locations whilst issues are being dealt with. Backing up data to cloud services and ensuring that your employees have business mobile phones may well be all it takes to see work continue as normal in even the most extreme cases. Furthermore, it may be that premises are unaffected but that weather precludes travel and in these same circumstances a focus on mobile alternatives will ensure employees can work from where they are rather than having to take time off simply due to flooded roads or dangerous travel conditions.
Relying solely on online solutions can be problematic, as can relying only on work-based telecom systems. By incorporating landlines, cloud computing and mobile communication tools into your business, your company should have the potential to continue, no matter how extreme the weather gets.
Author Bio: Alan Holmes is a freelance writer, blogger and business owner. He regularly writes articles about business communications using sites such as Chess to stay up to date with the latest industry news.