Josh Dozor, General Manager of Medical and Security Assistance at International SOS, said
Year after year, residents and our infrastructure become more vulnerable to natural disasters.The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association releases its predictions in late May; however, several organisations have already released reports on what can be expected as we approach the upcoming hurricane season. A study from Colorado State University predicts 13 named storms for 2023, falling slightly below the 30-year average of 14 named storms.
This hurricane season should remain a top priority for organisations as businesses have the potential to face complications that can not only hinder operations, but also affect employees and impact overall resilience.
The season will ultimately be judged by where the hurricanes make landfall – not the number of storms, and it only takes one bad storm to mark the season as ‘catastrophic’International SOS’ 2023 Risk Outlook for Climate Change stated that 34% of organisations have listed natural disasters to most likely impact business travel. This effect on business travel can have negative consequences resulting in delays to orders, chain-supply complications, and distaste from consumers towards an organisation. Ensuring there are steps in place to avoid these complications can benefit an organisation tremendously.
Julian Moro, Senior Vice President and Regional Security Director of International SOS, said
Severe weather events and natural disasters are entirely foreseeable events – your employees know it, as do you’re your clients and investors. There is an ever-increasing expectation that organisations are very well prepared to respond.International SOS has been providing security and health expertise for more than 35 years, ensuring that organisations have the right support to alleviate complications in the face of disaster. Some steps organisations can take to best prepare for these situations include:
Operations in high-risk areas for hurricanes should ensure that comprehensive procedures are in place including evacuation and relocation plans, and other measures to ensure business continuity.
- Identify locations and facilities based on the probabilities of hurricane impact using historical geographic data.
- Educate your workforce on the necessary supplies required for hurricane shelter-in-place or evacuation, to include food, water, personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizers and disinfectants.
- Be prepared to suspend operations at, and travel to, at-risk locations for periods of a week or more.
- Assess evacuation options to include shelter and transport. Where evacuation options are limited, identify shelter-in-place plans.
- Establish appropriate thresholds for determining when to evacuate or relocate personnel and have a clear structure in place to communicate these measures throughout your organisation.
- Account for access disruption to include enabling employees to have the capability and equipment to work remotely/from home. Anticipate potential disruption to power and communications.
- Develop pre-scripted messages and test means of mass notification to ensure functionality of messaging prior to an emergency.
- Consider a table-top exercise to test your organisation's crisis management and business continuity plans, reinforce roles and responsibilities, and identify any areas for improvement ahead of time.
On 30 May 2023, International SOS will host a Hurricane Preparedness webinar, where a team of experts will speak on a multitude of topics pertaining to best practices on hurricane safety, awareness, and preparedness. Registration is open to the public and free through the link here.
Our team of experts will be covering topics such as:
- The latest updated on the 2023 hurricane season forecast
- Key considerations for organizations in hurricane-prone regions
- Best practices for developing and implementing a hurricane preparedness plan
- How to mitigate the impact of hurricanes on your workforce and operations
- Case studies and lessons learned from previous hurricane seasons
About the International SOS Group of CompaniesThe International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.
Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by more than 9,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 13,000 multicultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,200 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.
To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: www.internationalsos.com