Five Tips on Preparing for Weather/Natural Disasters

As North America has experienced many weather associated disasters in the last few months, industries have been hit with multiple travel related issues. Industries can lose rail cars, rail cars can get stuck in transit, and not to mention facilities often run the risk of being shut down due to rail-shipped supplies not reaching their facility in time. Here at RSI, we have a lot of experience in helping industries prepare for incoming disasters as well as helping clients dig out of issues stemming from these disasters.  RSI has created some tips for all industries in preparing for any type of possible disaster coming your way.

  1. Start by following the local weather channel for updates on the probable natural disaster that is ahead. It is very important to know when the impact of the disaster is likely to hit your area.  Understanding the path can help to illustrate a picture as to where the disaster is headed next, as well as the level of impact.
  1. If a plant or facility is within the impact zone, it is a good idea to develop a contingency plan. Knowing how rail can be affected by multiple weather conditions, you may want to plan alternative means of product delivery. Some options might include shipping product to another location or shipping by truck and/or intermodal.
  1. Communicate is key. Establishing daily and/or weekly calls with key players may help to get an inside view of the situation that is at hand. Some main individuals to include on these calls are railroad representatives, local railroad operations, and account managers/logistics coordinators. By getting these people involved in conversation, it is more likely that issues are brought forward and resolved in a quicker manner.
  1. As the natural disaster occurs, a great deal of transportation lanes can be affected. Visibility is crucial. By setting up multiple reports, you are able to find cars that are already impacted as well as those rail cars that could be deemed as potentially impacted.  Following up with multiple rail coordinators can be a good idea to ensure multiple people are looking over cars that are within the impacted zones.
  1. More often than not, delays tend to continue for weeks and months after the occurrence. Watching for railroad announcements that pertain to operational updates is key. Be sure to keep an eye out for areas under embargos, as well.

Sound a little overwhelming? RSI has many years of experience dealing with multiple variations of disasters. RSI’s Account Managers have crafted many extensive plans to help clients before, during, and after a disaster occurs. The tips mentioned above are steps that RSI personally takes to inform, prepare, and protect our clients across all types of disasters.

Learn how RSI’s team can help you by requesting an assessment, today.