It is impossible to prevent a natural disaster. However, a fleet manager can prepare for one, and having the right steps in place ahead of time will help mitigate the damage and reduce associated costs.
So then, what can your business do to prepare before the next natural disaster? For starters, you can develop a comprehensive plan – and you can turn to technology and other resources to make your life easier.
Draft up a detailed plan
What are your drivers supposed to do? Who needs to be called first? Questions like these will be answered in your fleet’s natural disaster plan.
According to Automotive Fleet, the fleet’s plan must be in line with the other departments in your business.
“Work within your own company,” Walter Burnett, project consultant for Illinois-based Jones Surveying & Engineering Corp., told the news source. “Most companies have emergency managers who are responsible for planning the company’s response to an event.”
No matter what, though, your fleet’s plan must include these elements:
• Your fleet’s responsibilities in the event of a natural disaster
• Who needs to report to supervisors
• Contact information
• Additional training resources
Burnett recommended that the fleet manager handle the disaster planning duties alone, then seek out feedback to hone the strategy. This will prevent roadblocks and other headwinds from occurring.
Turn to technology to simplify the process
In addition to a plan, you can also turn to technology to help prepare your fleet for a natural disaster.
According to Government Fleet, one system is called the fleet management information system, or FMIS. This system will help you store all important fleet data in one central location, so you can network with government agencies as you recover from severe weather.
“A fleet management information system is invaluable during recovery efforts,” Jim Reinish, manager of the Central Automotive Division for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told the news source. “Our FMIS was used to quantify data that was used to develop claims that were filed with FEMA.”
As you talk with agencies like FEMA, they will ask for detailed information about your fleet. Following a disaster, accessing your records may be tricky, but having that data backed up on your FMIS can make that easier. Then, you’ll be able to immediately answer important questions and prevent setbacks as you wait for federal or state aid.
Overall, make sure your fleet is prepared for a natural disaster. Planning and technology will be your allies at this time, no matter the size or severity of the weather event.