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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 12, 2023 • Issue 23:06:01


Navigating an unpredictable climate

When the summer rolls around, people typically tuck away extra layers of clothing, bring out lawn chairs, camping equipment, beach blankets and more. They anticipate afternoons walking barefoot along the boardwalk, licking ice cream cones, and exploring new locations on day-trips, weekends away or longer vacations. And payments professionals touch base with seasonal merchants to ensure they're all set for an influx of new customers seeking to rent canoes, jet skis or cabins nestled along burbling rivers.

These days, though, businesses face weather that's more unpredictable than it used to be. And knowing how to successfully navigate extreme climate events has become a must. Luckily, you can increase the likelihood you’ll still be in business in the aftermath of a wildfire, flood or other such calamity.

Smart actions to take

Here are tips for protecting your business during extreme conditions:

  • Business continuity: Develop business continuity plans that consider various climate-related scenarios. Identify potential risks, create contingency plans and establish protocols for maintaining operations during disruptive events. It's crucial to have backup systems, redundancies and alternative communication channels in place to ensure minimal disruption to services.
  • Remote work capabilities: You likely sorted out remote work policies and infrastructure when so many offices shifted to remote work during the pandemic. If not, set them up now so you can maintain business operations when physical workplaces become inaccessible or unsafe due to extreme weather conditions. Consider how you will provide employees with required tools, secure network access and communication platforms so they can remain productive for the duration.
  • Data backup and security: If you've endured climate events that caused power outages or infrastructure damage, you know it's essential to regularly back up critical data and store it in secure off-site locations or the cloud. You're likely familiar with PCI data, software and device requirements, but have you extended your security efforts to parts of the business that do not deal with transaction data or other personally identifiable information? Robust security practices, including encryption and access controls, should be in place everywhere in your business.
  • Scalable infrastructure: Have a scalable infrastructure that can accommodate potential surges in transaction volumes during emergencies. This includes being able to handle increased online transactions, peak demands and potentially dramatic shifts in consumer behavior.
  • Disaster recovery: Have comprehensive disaster recovery and risk management plans in place. This means assessing vulnerabilities, establishing protocols for disaster response, and conducting regular drills and tests to ensure preparedness. Also, partnerships with alternative service providers and redundant systems can help mitigate risks and maintain service continuity.
  • Continuous monitoring and adaptation: Monitor climate-related risks routinely and adapt strategies accordingly. By staying informed about climate trends and updates, you can adjust your operations, infrastructure and processes to enhance the way you respond to climate events and boost resilience.

You might also take a look at increasing energy efficiency. This could mean using energy-efficient equipment, optimizing data centers, reducing paper usage or implementing other environmentally friendly practices you discover. Swap knowledge with colleagues at industry events, too, an activity that might ultimately save your business—and people's lives. end of article

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