Staying Ahead of the Storm: Improve Incident Management for Weather Events

By: Daniel Witteveen| - Leave a comment

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In today’s world, extreme weather events now represent the largest risk facing businesses, according to the World Economic Forum. For incident management, weather will always be unpredictable — even in severe situations where forecasts may have provided warning, conditions can quickly change, potentially having far-reaching effects on business operations and employee safety.

Whether you have an emergency notification tool or rely on manual processes, incident response teams are most often invoked based on event information that’s been collated from staff on the ground and can be delayed or incomplete. Incident management plans have become inherently reactive because incident response teams lack timely and adequate information to recognize and assess developing threats.

For weather events, staff often rely on publicly available information sources. Mass-media outlets provide a free source of weather information but are oriented toward a broad audience with a range of needs. Government agencies also contribute a valuable source of free weather data, but they’re primarily focused on public safety as opposed to business disruptions.

Transform Incident Management

Private weather data companies, on the other hand, provide weather updates based on their clients’ need to operationalize the forecast by leveraging automated weather alerts, which can alleviate reliance on staff on the ground and help decision-makers recognize a developing threat.

Incorporating automated reporting of upcoming weather events into your incident planning allows for proactive response to such weather related disruptions. Automated alerts provide a single highly accurate, location-specific source of the truth to keep everyone in your organization informed. This solution enables faster activation of incident management plans and provides incident response teams with the ability to prepare for and proactively respond to unavoidable events.

Advanced preparation and testing of incident response plans and procedures is still required, but they can be executed with improved focus when engineered into a platform that enables teams to respond quickly — doing the right thing at the right time. This transforms static paper-based plans into interactive workflows to automate conversations across a broad spectrum of communication channels.

The best way to prepare for an unavoidable event is through planned communications and disaster response tasks and activities to reduce risk and improve efficiency. That way, your organization can improve the information gathered, decisions made and responses executed within the first critical hour of disaster.

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About The Author

Daniel Witteveen

Vice President, IBM Resiliency Services

Daniel Witteveen is Vice President, IBM Resiliency Services. He leads the Global Strategy and Portfolio team and is passionate about addressing clients' business resiliency needs across the physical and virtual layers of the enterprise, including data, applications, IT infrastructure, facilities, organization skills and business processes, aligned to the organization's strategy and vision. IBM Resiliency Services is recognized as the leading provider of business continuity and disaster recovery services around the world, enabling clients to maintain "always on" availability.

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