As Hurricane Florence continues to batter the Carolinas and East coast, fleet owners have to ask themselves: “Is my fleet prepared for a severe weather event of this scale?”
No matter your location or the size of your fleet, dangerous weather could be just days, weeks, or months away. From hurricanes to earthquakes to flooding, damaging natural disasters are more common than desired and potentially devastating for any fleet.
Though you can’t control the natural elements you have to deal with, you can create a plan that most effectively protects your employees, fleet, and operations in these situations. To see how to best prepare for severe weather, use the tips we’ve included below.
1. Plan ahead for multiple possibilities
For many weather events, you only have a few days notice (or less) to react and prepare. By creating a plan for every potential situation and providing multiple responses for each, you can ensure a quick, effective solution to every emergency. As you create your plans, consider adding these steps:
- Evacuate non-essential vehicles — When dealing with the level of flooding currently seen in the Carolinas, it’s important to remove every asset you can. In the time you have, ask your available employees to move the vehicles you aren’t using to a reliably safe location out of the storm’s reach.
- Fuel and re-fuel — Fuel is often one of the first essential resources to run out, so fueling after the disaster may be difficult or impossible. Instead, encourage your drivers to fill up at the end of every day, ensuring they have as much fuel as possible. If possible, you can also fill a large gas truck to have on-hand in case you need it.
- Alert your customers — No matter your industry, a disaster can disrupt your services for any amount of time. As you prepare, let every customer know that deliveries, services, and contact may be suspended at any point. By hiring an outside contact center service, you can guarantee that customers can reach a representative when your office is closed. Your employees’ safety is top priority, so plan to be closed as long as needed to keep them safe.
2. Utilize smart routing
If you’ve watched the news, you’ve seen the long lines of cars that fill the highway as people evacuate. If your drivers are traveling in the affected area, use your vehicle telematics to find the fastest and safest routes. Every minute stuck in traffic increases fuel, maintenance, and payroll costs, so do your best to avoid these stagnant traffic areas.
3. Stay informed
The best way to successfully “weather” any storm is to act quickly and give yourself as much time as you can. In the event of any possible severe weather, start preparing as soon as danger becomes a possibility. Give your staff time to prepare your company without endangering their ability to protect their homes and families. The more time you have, the better.