By Evan Williams, Cambridge Companies
September 30, 2019
Developing a plan before a disaster hits ensures that you can resume operations as soon as possible.
Natural disasters—such as floods, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.—will damage any building. Having plans for a continuity of operations and a clear plan for reconstruction can help you recover faster. To that end, we will focus on two parts of this response:
- The continuity of operations plan
- And, approaches to physically repairing and reconstructing your facility
Continuity of Operations
Once a disaster has passed, it is time to start picking up the pieces. Solid waste companies often have a critical role in this process, so getting back into operation is necessary. Facility operators should have measures in place that allow them to re-start their operation if their facility is damaged. Certainly, available resources will impact this, as a larger company with multiple locations and built-in redundancy will likely have an easier time re-starting their facility rather than a single-site company. These measures can include keeping backups of all personnel and company files in the cloud, so if onsite servers are damaged, information is recoverable. The backup information should include scans of your facility drawings. Drawing scans are overlooked, but that backup will save time and money.
Not all disasters are complete surprises. Several, such as hurricanes or flooding, may provide some warning. While there might not be an abundance of time, you may be able to relocate hauling trucks to higher ground if your facility is low-lying or make sure a recycling center/transfer station gets cleared out of material. With available time, you can work to minimize the environmental impact of your facilities and preserve your assets so they are available after the event.