The Value of an Emergency Response Plan during Severe Weather Season


The Cherry Logistics Emergency Asset Response (CLEAR) Team offers the following advice during the severe weather season: Managers will accomplish more, sooner, with a response and recovery plan in place than they will without one. Lightning, torrential rain, hail and damaging winds can cause extensive damage, disrupt business and endanger lives. Depending upon how large an area is affected, resources can quickly become scarce. Businesses that have planned ahead will have an advantage over those that have not, and will be able to take deliberate action sooner.

An emergency response plan, sometimes called a disaster recovery or business continuity plan, is a well-defined set of actions designed to restore and/or maintain critical business functions in the face of natural or manmade challenges. Critical business functions are any processes or data that would significantly jeopardize the operation of an organization if disrupted. Based on a set of probable incidents, disasters, or emergencies that could threaten those critical functions, an effective plan not only outlines what must be done — before, during and after the event — but also spells out who will do what by specifying key internal and external roles and responsibilities.

A vast array of disaster preparedness information resources is available to business professionals. In 2004, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched Ready Business, an extension of their Ready campaign that focuses on business preparedness planning. The National Fire Protection Association has published NFPA 1600: Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. Also, the Professional Retail Store Maintenance (PRSM) Association has assembled a Disaster Planning and Management Toolkit for retail facilities maintenance professionals. DHL API

Our CLEAR Team is comprised of expert business emergency management professionals and can play a key role in the facilities portion of your organization’s emergency response plan. This team utilizes its select network of emergency service technicians and specialized equipment to restore facilities functionality with speed and proficiency, and our streamlined dispatch programs make sure they get where they need to go.

During Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and again during Winter Storm Nemo in 2013, our CLEAR Team was called upon by our customers to provide emergency services. Many of the locations helped were not in our regular maintenance portfolio, but were under service agreements with a landlord or another management company. Cherry personnel mobilized crews of emergency service providers as needed, arranging logistics and transportation, while dispatching immediate relief to the affected stores. In many cases, these stores were the only regional sites in operation during the weather event, or the first to open afterward.