Monday 14th September 2015

Winter is Coming – How to Respond to Severe Weather Incidents (Incident Response)

  1. Get your weather apps at the ready

Goes without saying, but monitor weather forecasts & expect to be able to issue advance warning of Severe Weather conditions if required to your team. I find Accuweather particularly good.


  1. Liaise with your team…but in advance

Incident Response requires a team. Liaise with Facility Manager to monitor water supplies and also provision of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Organise repairs in advance as necessary.


  1. Address pedestrian areas

Co-ordinate with the facilities team to safeguard pedestrian areas and minimise the impact of high winds, ice, snow or flooding. Be sure to give priority to areas of high use.


  1. Avoid work in isolated or high risk areas

Make a judgement call and stop any work ongoing by contractors or staff in isolated areas such as roof spaces, isolated storage areas etc.


  1. Be conscious of traffic disruptions

Be conscious of disruption to roads and the impact that may have on your staff. The same goes for deliveries and contractors travelling to your premises also. Assess the impact and initiate your business continuity management plan accordingly.


  1. Control access

In the event that the premises is closed, position security officers to control access to the premises. Erect signage as required and ensure a log of who is entering the premises, as well as how long they expect to be on the premises. Take their mobile phone number and if / when the leave the site should be kept.


  1. Document reports of failures

Arrange for reports of failures in utilities (water supply, heating etc.) to be passed onto appropriate staff for resolution.


  1. Be ready to escalate if required

Be ready to escalate the incident to your senior leadership team when the issue impacts business continuity i.e. if / when people can’t come to work, power outage or supply chain impact.


  1. Get signage in place

Stock up, and if appropriate erect appropriate signage around your premises to ensure that persons are kept away from impacted areas.


  1. Communicate with staff

Set up an information line to keep your staff up to speed with the latest updates, if the premises will be open for work etc. They will thank you if they don’t need to risk a trip in bad weather only to find the premises is closed.


  1. Conduct periodic checks of the premises

Ask your security team to carry out regular checks and inspection taking into account perimeter fencing, building condition including loose material etc. Ensure issues found are reported immediately.


  1. Calm after the Storm

Once the severe weather has passed, its time to inspect the premises from top to toe. Create a register of all issues that have the capacity to impact personal safety & the operations of the premises. Prioritise based on the risk to the business and get working on the items asap.

David McCarthy is Founder & CEO of® a crisis management tool that aids the incident readiness, response and reporting capabilities of organisations during a crisis. For more information check out .

[emaillocker id=4919]® Brochure 2016 v1.0[/emaillocker]