By Claire West
As the Big Freeze shows no signs of abating, Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon Corporation (NYSE:AON), is advising businesses affected by the snow to constantly evaluate whether their business continuity plans, if they have any, are effective and note any findings to minimise impact from future events.
Vincent West, head of business continuity at Aon commented:
“Businesses who have developed a business continuity plan are likely to have identified the parts of their business that are essential to keep moving, and will be throwing whatever resources they have available at making sure these hold up.
Businesses that have not got a plan in place and are experiencing the effects of the adverse weather should now be doing the same.
“An area often overlooked by many businesses is the well being of staff members. While many staff will work from home in order to avoid perilous road and rail journeys, those that do venture in may find themselves stranded at the office. Businesses will not be used to having to provide bedding or alternate accommodation and meals, for example, to staff stuck at work for several days.
“During the remainder of the Big Freeze, businesses should be:
• Maintaining contact with their stakeholders, staff and customers to manage expectations around revised delivery dates or service availability
• Thinking now about how they plan on dealing with backlogs once the weather improves
• Constantly evaluating where business continuity plans are working and where they are not, and be fluid in moving resources to ensure business continues as normally as possible.
“Businesses that may already be struggling because of the economic conditions may find that several days out business because of snow may be the thing that tips them over the edge. We are experiencing more and more business interruption events: two Big Freezes and the Icelandic volcano this year alone. Businesses need to ensure they are planning, as much as possible for these types of events.”