Are you ready for the 2021 Hurricane Season?

By |2022-06-16T17:38:31+00:00June 2nd, 2021|0 Comments

The business disruption caused by the pandemic in 2020 introduced new challenges for business continuity practitioners managing continuity events around the globe. Events for which we can plan (such as the Atlantic Hurricane season here in the US) planning process needs to be updated keeping the current scenario in mind. Now it is not only about managing the natural disruption but also doing it in a way where the safety of your people is not jeopardized in the process. Counties and cities in the US are going back to business as normal after the low number of COVID cases and inoculation; however, organizations are still pacing themselves for return to work and also introducing flex working policies for their employees.

Considering if your organization is one where people are not fully back to work and are working remotely by choice – you might want to consider updating your hurricane response plans for this season. Planning for the season starts now. First thing is to bring the right team to the table who would be participating in the response and discussing the current scenario, risks, and response updates.

Some business continuity planning considerations for the 2021 hurricane season are listed below:

  • Understanding the local restrictions and guidelines for the pandemic and how it could prevent the teams from accessing the office space if needed (This in case if your office is not re-opened yet)
  • Have your return to work plan handy in case the local jurisdiction allows the office space to be opened in a limited capacity before the season
  • During the pandemic, a lot of people have moved around. Ensuring that home addresses for your employees are updated in your mass communication system would help with effective emergency reach out and wellness checks.
  • If there is a restriction on using the office space or the usage is limited to a certain percentage you might want to work with the appropriate team to identify safe options for alternate locations for your people. e.g., In case of a prolonged power outage (if they can) employees would need a safe place to work from.
  • Work with IT to make sure that the technical support can be provided remotely both for office and remote work
  • If you have the budget make sure that the critical personnel have a MiFi or mobile hotspot capability
  • The response should start with ensuring employee safety for which you can use an emergency mass communication tool or it could be as basic as sending out a safety check email to the employees who are in the path of the hurricane.

In the end exercise, exercise, and exercise! Even before you go into the active hurricane season bring the response team together (remotely!) to exercise the pandemic-hurricane plan you would use during the response. This would allow you to identify gaps and address them before the active season kicks in.

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