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Now is the time for Logistics Managers to create disaster “Health Check”

Days before the storm struck, Zurich's Risk Engineering Services department advised logistics managers to prepare for the worst
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 30, 2012

While Hurricane Sandy continues to wreak havoc in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, a new focus on risk mitigation is sure to take hold.

Days before the storm struck, Zurich’s Risk Engineering Services department advised logistics managers to prepare for the worst.

Here is a “health check” for shippers to keep on hand:

•Personnel safety is the No. 1 priority. Protect employees while they work at heights under high-wind conditions. Enforce safety procedures, including electrical safety and good material handling practices while moving equipment, or making preparations for the storm. Monitor work surfaces to prevent slip, trips and falls among workers, customers and emergency service personnel.

•Business continuity begins with your people. Consider activating work-from-home procedures and limiting non-essential travel. Be conscious that some employees may be scrambling to find childcare if schools in your area are closed.

•A clogged roof drain can actually collapse your roof. It’s the fall season, and leaves clogging gutters on roofs and sewer systems on the ground have the potential to collapse your roof or back water up into your
basement and ground floors. Have your roof professionals clear gutters and contact local authorities to clear sewage drains before the storm. Make any necessary roof repairs now to help prevent more damage later.

•Be supply chain savvy. Numerous major American retailers, manufacturers and distributors rely on goods received along the Eastern seaboard. Have your suppliers’ (and if applicable, their suppliers’) information handy, and review your back up plans in the event of a supplier disruption. You can access a supply chain healthcheck at http://www.supplychainriskinsights.com then ,consider a supply chain risk assessment to help identify and mitigate potential breaks in your value chain.

•Collect and protect critical information. Take your policy documentation, business continuity plan and other important documents with you in the event of an evacuation. Make certain your servers are in a secure area and move to a higher elevation if possible.

About the Author

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Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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