You might recall that my blog last week talked about children hoping for a Snow Day so that they could get out of going to school for a day. Well, they say you should be careful what you wish for because yesterday I found myself at the centre of a massive snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts that they are calling ‘Snowmageddon’. The snow is three feet deep here, with all 36 inches falling overnight on Tuesday.
One thing you cannot accuse the government here of is not being prepared for approaching disaster. The US National Weather Service had forecast that a “potentially historic storm” would strike New York City and the north eastern seaboard several days in advance. Perhaps with the memory of Hurricane Sandy fresh in their minds, when downtown NYC was flooded by up to 16 feet of water in October 2012, the authorities here in the United States went to huge lengths to minimise the damage and fatalities that might have occurred.
Usually, of course, business disruption incidents tend to come out of a clear blue sky and there is no advance warning to prepare for them. In addition to this, most countries do not have the level of organisation or resources that the US is able to throw at a national emergency. Many countries, faced with the same weather circumstance, would have seen a high level of disorganisation and chaos that is bound to impact on businesses operations.
The New York City authorities imposed a driving ban for all but emergency vehicles from Monday night and took the unprecedented step of shutting the subway down. Here in Boston similar action was taken to declare a state of emergency and close down schools, roads and transport services. What this national state of emergency did mean is that businesses were forewarned in advance about the impending disruption. This gave them the relative luxury of preparing for what was about to happen. Even so, many businesses have been affected by employees being unable to get to work and 45,000 people are still without power after the state’s only nuclear power station shut down when the storm interrupted its power flow.
It is a fact of life that, wherever in the world you go, random crises occur on a daily basis and most businesses find themselves on their own having to deal with the impact of these. That is where alerting and communication tools like the Crises-Control app, previously only available to large scale businesses, can help you to not only minimise the disruption, but also possibly help you to save the very existence of your business itself. Check it out it’s a really cool app.