Is your business continuity plan weather-proof?
Bad weather is bad news for business. The disruption and associated economic impact caused by adverse weather conditions over the last 10 or so years makes for alarming reading.
Storms and other severe weather events have been commonplace in recent winters. December 2010 – the UK’s coldest December since records began – saw heavy snowfall, disruption to schools and travel chaos with thousands of motorists stranded in their cars for up to 10 hours. In February 2009, the UK had its heaviest snowfall for 18 years, causing huge disruption to public transport, and costing about £1.2bn in lost working hours. A bout of heavy snow in January 2013 left a third of the UK workforce unable to get to work. The winter of 2013/14 was also the wettest on record, with flooding and storm damage affecting over 3,000 commercial properties.
The impact of all this disruption is immense: power, phone lines and other utilities are often heavily affected. In March 2016 there were over 100,000 power outages in the south of England after Storm Katie battered the UK with peak wind speeds of 106mph; the floods and storms of winter 2013/14 had a direct cost to businesses and households of £1.1bn- without taking into account the indirect and ongoing economic consequences of the disruption to infrastructure, transport and utilities. The severe cold spell in the run-up to Christmas 2010 is estimated to have cost the UK economy up to £1.2 billion a day.