The north eastern corridor of the US is in lockdown with a state of emergency declared due to the fierce snow storm making conditions extremely hazardous. The storm is being called the worst in history with the potential for some areas to be paralyzed for days. The situation brings into focus the need for businesses to have plans in place for extreme weather conditions and to assess how the business can operate in the circumstances. The potential for property damage is one part of the story but there may be other risks to consider including loss of business. As part of the risk assessment businesses should consider what processes can be operated remotely, for example can telephones be diverted elsewhere and are employees able to access essential applications from their homes? Power outages can mean that remote access plans become invalid or that other equipment stops working unless back-up power supplies are installed. Procedures for communicating with staff and customers should also be put in place so that if all else fails you are still able to keep those that rely on you informed.
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