Now that we are in the middle of winter, there is a very strong chance of severe weather events hitting the UK. Previous winters in recent years have seen heavy rainfall, strong winds and winter storms as well as low temperatures with ice and significant snowfall.
Whilst all seasons bring with them their own weather events it is particularly important that as a small business owner you keep an eye on the weather forecasts over the winter months. Doing so will help you to prioritise business recovery if a disaster does strike, helping you keep trading and reduce any possible impact on your business.
What steps can you take to stay ahead of the weather?
Get the relevant information
Sites such as the Met Office offer informative up to date weather forecasts. You can also sign up to email alerts for weather warnings in specific areas. Good if you have business locations across the UK.
The environment agency also offers a free flood warning service which you can choose to receive via phone, email or text.
We recently blogged about preparing your business against flooding so do give this a read for specific information on business recovery following a flood.
Make sure your business is prepared
If your business is unfortunate enough to suffer the effects of a weather event, then business recovery will be the first thing on your mind.
One of the most effective ways to prepare your business against a disaster event is to ensure that you have a business continuity plan in place. This should set out all of the processes and procedures that will be undertaken if disaster strikes. If you don’t yet have a business continuity plan in place then read our blog on creating one here.
Make sure your staff are informed
You will want to ensure that your staff know what do to in the event of a weather event. Whilst this will be contained in your business continuity plan you need to ensure procedures are communicated to staff.
If the event strikes outside of working hours, then you will need to communicate to staff whether or not to come to work. Or to let them know if they need to go to a temporary place of work and where this may be if you are not able to make use of your normal business premises.
Likewise, if the event should strike during working hours then make sure staff are all aware of how to evacuate the premises quickly and safely.
Check your insurance is up to date
Now may be a good time to ensure that your business insurance is up to date and offers sufficient cover against all of the major weather events.
You may also want to consider if business interruption insurance could be of benefit to your business – this effectively covers your lost income and revenue if you are unable to trade following a disaster and whilst your business recovers from any damage caused. Typically, lost revenue isn’t covered by a standard buildings and contents policy for example which is there to cover your physical assets.