Weathermap in space

3 Ways Customized Weather Solutions Pay Off for Businesses

Jun 21, 2016

We all know “nothing in life is free,” but we’re still drawn in by the promise of getting something for nothing.

Companies do this even when stakes are high, relying on free weather apps and TV forecasts to track storms in their areas, thinking they’re saving money. But they’ll pay dearly if extreme weather takes them by surprise. When everyone at a company follows different weather sources, they waste time trying to reconcile conflicting and often inaccurate forecasts. Local meteorologists have admitted to sensationalizing rain reports to improve ratings, yet the public relies on them when planning for storms. It’s no wonder that instead of securing their buildings, ordering adequate supplies, and calling in enough staff to handle surges, companies end up shorthanded. They shut down operations because of vague information about potential severe weather, only to realize their mistake when the storm strikes 45 miles east. Think about all the revenue needlessly lost.

A more cost-effective way is implementing customized weather solutions, which provide up-to-the-minute forecasts tied to your exact location. It eliminates the guesswork from weather tracking so you can make decisions about what’s actually approaching, which saves time and money. A tornado in your area could pose different outcomes. Perhaps you’re right in its path. The top priority in that scenario would be getting your people to safety and battening down the hatches.

On the other hand, you could escape direct damage but experience fallout in the twister’s aftermath. A customized weather system gives you an accurate picture of what to expect so that you can plan accordingly. You can boost your resiliency simply by having better information for planning. Customized weather tools offer three key benefits as described below.

1. Forces you to over-prepare

In a storm, what you expect to happen and what actually happens are often very different. When you hear “severe thunderstorm with heavy downpours,” your mind likely goes to flooding. What if water gets into the building and destroys the walls or foundation? That’s the primary disaster scenario, so that’s what you plan for. But maybe the flooding doesn’t make it into your building and instead clogs up the local sewer system. Your pipes burst and cause a dangerous mess that takes several weeks to clean.

You need contingency plans for secondary and tertiary disasters that can arise during extreme weather. Prepare to give your staff remote access to in-store software in case your office is closed for a substantial period.

2. Know your incident command capabilities

Preparedness begins long before a storm appears on the radar. Your team should be well-versed in emergency protocols and should know how to handle immediate crises, fend off opportunists, and communicate with one another even with limited power. So conduct pre-assessments of your facilities, operations, staff, and supply chain logistics to be prepared for all scenarios.

3. Save lives through early warnings

Early warning systems reduce deaths and damage everywhere they are implemented. In Cuba and Bangladesh, these warning systems give people time to seek shelter ahead of cyclones. Tsunami warnings have proved crucial to Japan and Pacific Island nations, where every second counts. Even if you’re not in a tsunami zone, early warnings are vital to protecting your business. Customized weather systems provide your best chance of making it through a major event unscathed. Free extended forecasts are unreliable, especially when they apply to large areas instead of exact locations. Focused, tailored reports provide high-quality insights into what to expect from a storm and how to protect your company from its impact.

Scott Jeffries is the industry manager of onshore corporate services at StormGeo. With more than 20 years of experience in the enterprise software and technology space, Scott’s extensive background in business continuity allows him and StormGeo to deliver client-driven solutions that help solve weather-related business risks.

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