Severe weather can have a major impact on businesses across the country, with large storms increasing the potential of operational interruptions and property loss. With that in mind, employers may want to focus on risk management and other proactive solutions to ensure a safe, secure workforce in the event of a storm.
Thankfully for businesses everywhere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its seasonal outlook for hurricanes, and noted a weaker forecast for hurricanes and major storms this year. As a result, that could lead to lower property and casualty insurance costs for employers.
Chance for below-normal hurricane season
This year could prove to be a mild one in regard to hurricanes. NOAA's predictions indicate a strong likelihood for a below-normal season, which would mean fewer named storms and weaker hurricanes. This is good news for businesses dependent on the weather, such as construction firms across the country.
According to NOAA, there is a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, with only a 10 percent chance of an above-average one. The odds point to only eight to 13 named storms, which would fall right at - or below - average. Even so, risk management should be a priority ahead of any serious weather event.
"It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall to have disastrous impacts on our communities," said Joe Nimmich, associate administrator for Response and Recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Just last month, Pensacola, Florida saw five inches of rain in 45 minutes - without a tropical storm or hurricane. We need you to be ready."
Focus on risk management plan
Prior to any major storm, employers should increase their focus on a risk management plan to help reduce the likelihood of property damage or other losses. To help with this, Tom Serio, director of business continuity management for Office Depot, offered some advice to FoxNews.com.
Serio explained that employees are the most important resource for a company, and should be protected as such. For starters, companies should create contact lists and make sure all workers have access to these phone numbers and addresses. On the list should be emergency organizations, government relief agencies and key vendors, among others. In addition, the workplace must have a clear process of communications and a risk management plan in place.
Taking these steps ahead of time could help prevent problems as a result of a major storm. With clear strategy, employees will know how to respond in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.