Meteorologists observing the El Nino effect linked to ocean temperatures have said that the phenomenon could develop into one of the most powerful in years.
As a result, we may be about to experience conditions as harsh as those of January 2010 when businesses were severely disrupted by freezing temperatures and deep snow. According to the Association Of British Insurers some £900 million was paid out in property damage claims during that cold spell.
Business continuity planning is key
For your business to be in the best possible position to withstand the worst this winter, it is important to begin preparing now and a few simple steps can make all the difference.
• It is advisable to have a robust continuity plan in place that documents the key potential risks and contingencies. The risks can extend beyond physical building damage and you may want to consider the implications if suppliers cannot deliver raw materials and other essentials and if employees are unable to make it in to work.
•It is also sensible to have our details at hand alongside those of anyone else that you may need to contact in an emergency.
• Make sure you have plenty of grit in stock and identify the pathways around your premises that need to be treated.
• You can also prepare a communication to inform staff if the business has to close for the day and have this in place in advance so that it is ready to be sent out at short notice.  Introduce similar processes to alert your own customers if the service you provide is going to be in any way compromised.
• In addition, your IT team can explore ways of enabling employees to work effectively from home if it is unsafe to travel.