Winter Risk Management: 4 Ways to Keep Your Business Running in a Blizzard

  • Dec 21, 2016

Business risk management


Risk management is a tricky task, especially when less-than-ideal weather conditions are involved. When chilling winter winds pick up and heavy snow begins to fall, many business owners ask themselves: “How do I keep my business running?” On one hand, you could halt business operations until the storm passes and risk your finances. On the other hand, you can try to remain open with the option of managing human risks. With all of the advances in severe weather warning and forecasting technologies, it’s easier now than ever before to keep your business running during a winter storm.

4 ways to run a business in a blizzard

risk management for blizzards

1. Have a generator ready

While you might have a heater and sidewalk salt ready to go, many business owners forget that that heavy snowstorms can down power lines. Make sure you’re prepared for the heaviest snowfalls with a back-up generator ready to go to keep your operations flowing. Blizzard black-outs are a common occurrence and being able to sustain operations during once can be a huge opportunity.

2. Prepare staff

Whether you’re a small business or an international one, it’s important to prepare your staff for weather emergencies. When it comes to blizzards and other cold weather adversaries, knowing when the storm is going to hit is crucial for coordinating staff schedules. For example, if you are a hospital and you know a blizzard is going to hit overnight, you can mitigate human risk by setting up sleeping areas and asking the next day’s staff to stay overnight. Having an accurate short-term forecast for your operational areas is a great way to prepare employees in a timely manner. Also don’t forget to have an emergency evacuation plan in case something goes wrong during the storm.

3. Order additional supplies

Not only should you prepare your staff, but you should prepare extra supplies to help your organization run. Blizzards and other winter weather hazards can make roadways impassable so you need to stock up on critical supplies. That way, you won’t have to risk your life to get what you need until the weather warms up. Besides products, you should also stock your shelves with materials that might be helpful should you get stranded at the office like food, hygiene products and emergency tools like flashlights and a radio.

4. Keep communication pathways open

The most important tip for operating through a brutal winter storm is to keep your communication channels open. That means letting employers and customers know what your situation is before, during and after the storm hits. A blizzard poses numerous risks to an organization. Be prepared with advanced weather data and share updates with everyone in your organizational structure.