By July 29, 2013 Read More →

Weather risks

Protecting your home business against extreme weather risks

Weather risksLately we’ve been talking about the weather, how some of us are distinctly less productive in hot weather and how we change our usual home working routine so we can work at cooler times of day. Now that the heatwave has been broken by thunderstorms, we need to think about how such weather risks could adversely affect our business, and take as much preventative action as we can.

No home in the country is now without risk of flooding, according to the National Flood Forum. Once it was only those close to the sea or a river, but now that localised torrential rain is common, and a month’s rain can fall in 24 hours, any property could be flooded by excess surface water the drains can’t cope with.

Our motherboard was affected by lightning when we lived in Cornwall, and the local computer supplies shops were immediately inundated with customers wanting replacements. Those slow off the mark had to wait for new stock or find a working connection to buy online.

Now whenever I hear a rumble in the distance – as is happening right now as I’m writing this – I’m alert for the possibility of having to unplug. Is your system adequately protected? Does your insurance policy cover this kind of damage? Do you regularly back up your data?

Martin Kirby and his family were featured on the first No Going Back Channel Four documentary 11 years ago, and he has written two books about their life on the 10 acre Mother’s Garden organic farm in the mountains of southern Catalonia.

His post on The Small Business Blog recounts their experience when a recent storm felled a tree on their neighbour’s land. Not only did it pull down power lines but a power surge burned out every electrical motor that was plugged in, including phone, washing machine and CD player.

Martin lost days of irreplaceable working time, and as we home business owners are all too aware, time is money. Much as we’d rather not dwell on such circumstances, it’s always worthwhile for business owners to think ahead about weather risks and plan contingency action, much like the risk assessment carried out for Health and Safety purposes.

Do you know where you could go to access the internet if your power was cut off? How much grace would you have before the situation became critical? A few hours, a few days? Having a plan in place will prevent a weather drama becoming a business catastrophe.

Posted in: Technology

2 Comments on "Weather risks"

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  1. I’ve lived in Florida, where there were thunderstorms every afternoon for half the year.

    Lightning several miles away fried the surge protector that my computer was plugged into. Fortunately it fried the modem as I used one then.

    Lightning not even near you can also wipe out your computer plus your on site back up/ USB/ HD drives etc. That’s one reason why having backups on site, off site, and in the cloud are needed.