Bad Weather and Business Continuity Plans


Natural disasters, such as blizzards, floods and tornadoes, can be more than just a hassle—they can seriously disrupt operations by damaging your facility, preventing workers from getting to work, interrupting your supply chain, etc.

That’s why it’s so important for companies, particularly small ones, to have a business continuity plan to help them deal with the impact of a wide range of emergencies and ensure that every day operations can continue to the extent possible.

But according to a new survey conducted for CIBC, a third of small business owners in Canada are woefully unprepared for any kind of bad weather.

The online poll was conducted Feb. 12-19, 2014 by Leger and involved 500 English- or French-speaking business owners or decision-makers in Canadian companies with 500 employees or less.

The results:

  • 35% of the owners admitted they had no contingency plan in place to deal with severe weather conditions that could shut down their businesses
  • About 10% said they’d experienced an interruption in their businesses in the last year, citing weather as the main source, followed by illness and personal reasons
  • Even after the severe weather of the past year, just 19% said they were rethinking what they’ll do if they’re hit with weather such as last summer’s floods in Alberta or this year’s ice storms in Ontario
  • 26% said they’d use cash, lines of credit, personal savings or loans to help them get through a business interruption, with another 20% planning on using credit cards or insurance.

To learn how to create a business continuity plan for your company, watch this recorded webinar. And for more information, tools and resources on emergency preparedness in general, go to the OHS Insider’s emergency preparedness and response compliance centre.