Among the biggest weather events of 2015 were the recurring monster snowstorms that walloped the Northeast and wreaked havoc on travel throughout the U.S. during a 6-week period from late January to early March. Frequent snowfalls were accompanied by persistent cold temperatures that prevented melting. When it was all done, Boston received a record-breaking 100-plus inches of snow, and businesses throughout the region experienced roof collapses, frozen pipes, and the logistical challenge of getting employees to work when neither roads nor transit systems could keep pace with the snow.
While these “snowpocalypse” storms received the most attention, winter cold and storms pounded many parts of the U.S. during the past year; the lessons learned from these heavy storms can help businesses elsewhere prepare for and respond to snow, ice, and freezing temperatures in 2016 and beyond. With this goal in mind, IBHS offers the following guidance on severe winter weather and business protection.
Get Prepared With OFB-EZ®
To help businesses prepare for winter weather, IBHS has developed OFB-EZ® (Open for Business-EZ), a free, easy-to-use business continuity planning toolkit designed to help small businesses successfully prepare for and recover from any type of business disruption, including severe weather events. OFB-EZ gives business owners the tools to better understand the risks they face and make a plan for how to resume operations, contact key suppliers, vendors and employees, and access data and other resources if disaster strikes. OFB-EZ is available at no charge in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) and Microsoft Word formats on IBHS’ website at DisasterSafety.org/open-for-business. Additional disaster preparedness resources for businesses and consumers are available at DisasterSafety.org/ibhs-business-protection.