We are all now living through an unimagined shock to our business, economy and general way of life. In the process, it’s important to make a checklist and ask yourself some questions.
- What have you learned about your business?
- Have you attempted to capture any lessons?
- Have you sought input from your teams on their perspectives?
- Has your business model been forced to change?
- Have you embraced those changes?
- Have your policies stood up to all the systemic stress?
Right now, you have time that you may not have had three months ago to reflect on the state of your business. As I’ve written previously, a good strategy has to be ongoing. The conditions of the world as it was six months ago have changed, and they’re sure to change again.
Don’t Be Complacent
Hurricane Isaias roared up the East Coast last week and produced damage far beyond what would typically be associated with a Level 1 Hurricane. Because of its speed and breadth, it covered a lot of coastal and interior territory in short order and caught plenty of people unprepared.
In Florida, hurricane season is a part of life. Covering half the year from June through November, the threat of a big storm is always there, but it generally fades to back of mind.
The frequency of storms tends to increase in September and October, and at that point, Florida residents are generally a bit more attuned. Even so, it’s easy to get complacent by thinking a storm is “only a Level 1 or Level 2.”
Before a storm graduates to hurricane level, it’s classified as a tropical storm. Tropical storms often develop fairly quickly and deteriorate just as quickly upon making landfall. Even so, there are still times that heavy thunderstorms can do tropical storm-level damage.
As a perfect example, Isaias didn’t appear seriously threatening to unsuspecting communities on the eastern seaboard until 36 to 48 hours before it arrived.
Prepare for the Unexpected
As mentioned in previous posts, ships and boats have access to great resources that can help them navigate around storms and make good decisions when faced with emerging weather situations. They also generally follow some time-tested methods of preparation:
- Ships have a “heavy weather bill” that includes timelines and actions to take when storms are approaching.
- Most boat insurance policies ask for a “hurricane plan” at the time the policy is underwritten.
- Marinas post useful checklists for slip holders to use in preparation, thereby protecting neighboring boats and the marina proper.
- Prudent boaters carry “ditch bags” containing essential food, water and safety items in the event something completely unexpected happens.
- Prudent property owners in Florida have “hurricane prep” essentials in the event of extended power outages—namely food, water, gas and a generator.
In each scenario above, prior preparation is the key to success. After all, if you’ve taken some basic steps to prepare for the worst, you can allow for an unlikely storm to remain “back of mind”—You’ll be covered no matter what happens. This is a great lesson for what’s going on in the world today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With all that in mind, remember to take advantage of any opportunities that are right in front of you. Be ready to adapt and prepare for the next event. Even if we don’t always know what it will look like, we can be sure that it will make the entire world look different—a checklist is one method to think it through in advance.
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