The Biz of Pacelinebiz

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Business Lessons From The Metro Atlanta Snow Storm of 2014

with 2 comments

This Is NOT Atlanta

This Is NOT Atlanta

On January 28th, metro Atlanta was hit by a snow storm that left nearly 3 inches of snow on the ground.  This may not seem like a lot to people outside of the South but with not enough equipment and salt to battle it the area was stuck in complete gridlock.  There may have been ways to lessen the severity of the chaos that ensued but I will leave the finger pointing and placing of blame for someone else. 

I want to discuss what can be learned about the readiness of your company, large or small, to deal with a disruption of business for two or three days.  Do you have a plan?  Many of you may be able to dust off your disaster plans that you had for the Y2K problem and update them for any kind of natural or man-made disaster.  This time it was a snow storm that crippled traffic in Metro Atlanta but it could be a flood, tornado, ice storm, power grid outage such as the one in 2003 or any number of other calamities.

Before discussing how to continue doing business under these circumstance, let’s consider simple things like procedures for employees trying to travel to work during poor road conditions.  Do you allow them to take a personal day or vacation day if they can’t safely make it to work – in their estimation?  What about a policy on employees trapped at the office?  What provisions are made if that is the safest place to stay during a weather or other calamitous event?  Do you have some sort of phone or other communication system to assure everyone knows what is going on at work?   

Below are a few items to consider:

  • Can your employees telecommute to keep things running?
  • Do you have data and software programs that can be accessed and stored in the cloud?
  • How do your customers contact you?  Can phones be redirected?
  • If your company is located in a larger geographical area, can critical functions be moved to unaffected areas?
  • What happens if key people are cut off from the company or the event does not affect you but affects a supplier? Do you have a plan in place? 

I wrote a blog on the last bullet point in 2012, check it out here.  It is best to learn from this type of event and take action before something happens that affect your company.

Have a uneventful week.





2 Responses

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  1. In February 2012 Atlanta was shut down for several days due to ice and snow. Banks were closed. Customer payments were not received. Credit holds were implemented. Hard to understand when we do business in the north in spite of weather. I was worried about my airline connection to get me to Mexico that week. Fast forward to Jan 2014. I was in Mexico. People were unable to get home due to Atlanta airport being closed. My direct flight to Cleveland went off without a hitch. History does repeat. Back up plans would have been a good thing this time around.

    Kathy Murauskas

    March 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    • Whoops, it was 2011 not 2012. Sorry.

      Kathy Murauskas

      March 10, 2014 at 8:26 pm

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