Impact of Hurricane Sandy
Greater attention to the need for disaster preparedness occurred when Hurricane Sandy hit the New York City area on October 29, 2012. In a report prepared by London-based global reinsurance firm Aon Benfield, Hurricane Sandy resulted in 65 billion dollar in economic losses. The widespread devastation in a densely populated business region created unprecedented challenges for the cities affected in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as the companies trying to find suitable places for employees to work.
With ground transportation compromised, airports closed, limited gas supply and prolonged power outages, executing any type of workplace recovery plan was full of obstacles.
Businesses who believed they were prepared with static recovery locations– meaning workers were to report to a single location–did not have a back-up plan when they learned their employees were unable to access these static locations. Limited work location choices, lack of public transportation and concerns for their families who were at home with no power exposed the drawbacks of a static recovery approach.
Many businesses without formal plans believed working from home was a good enough plan. The prolonged power disruption caused by Sandy illustrated the need for a more dynamic solution. While it can work for short-term problems or for non-essential staff, Sandy proved that organizations should have a formal plan to place key staff if and when a disaster happens.
During Hurricane Sandy, we worked with more than 1400 companies looking to find nearby places for employees to work. Most companies were recovered within 24 hours and employees were provided with laptops, computing hardware, and other office equipment needed to get back to business.