Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard’

Impact of February’s Blizzards

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Still Feels Like Christmas

Still Feels Like Christmas

EQECAT, a company that provides risk management and modeling services to the insurance industry, estimated insured losses from the two blizzards that struck the East Coast this month to be in excess of $2 billion. The snow, ice and wind impacts caused businesses to close and additional costs in recovery. The Mayor of New York City, for example, reported that each inch of snowfall imposed $1 million in cleanup costs. So what are the key lessons for small businesses?

  1. Businesses physically removed from the affected area may also sustain storm-related losses. If your business is located in the southern or western states, for example, but you have key suppliers or customers in the eastern states where the blizzards struck, you have to plan for contingencies. One helpful strategy employed by many e-commerce websites was to advise customers of shipping delays on orders owing to erratic weather. It is better to manage the customers’ expectations of prompt delivery beforehand, than to deal with disappointment afterwards.
  2. Plan in advance for telecommuting wherever possible. It is best to keep your employees and customers off the roads, so that they won’t be in harm’s way and the emergency vehicles can do their jobs. This means you should have procedures in place to ensure network security while telecommuting.

And of course, be patient. We are all at the mercy of forces beyond our control and would benefit from humor in dealing with such situations.