Businesses must prepare for more ‘weird’ weather

Experts warn that British people and businesses should plan for extreme weather conditions, like those experienced this year,

After a year of dramatic drought and floods, scientists from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Met Office and Environment Agency have branded 2012 as having the ‘weirdest weather on record’.

Speaking at a briefing in London, experts highlighted the dramatic change from a dry spring which prompted nationwide hosepipe bans to one of the wettest summers – in which ground water levels recovered. What’s more, forecasters are predicting a mini heatwave next week.

The main message experts wanted to communicate, however, was the fact that ‘the UK must plan for periodic swings of drought conditions and flooding’.

This year’s turbulent conditions have caused much disruption to many parts of the British Isles, which in turn has had an impact on business. Huge numbers of people have been able to commute to the office or to meeting destinations due to train cancellations or obstructions blocking routes.

Given the message from the briefing, it might be pertinent for firms to take steps to reduce the effects of said weather-related disruption, perhaps introducing flexible working or using business video conferencing facilities, to reduce the amount of travelling / commuting that employees are required to do.

Emphasising the point, said Christine Tuckett of the EA told “The weather extremes which we’ve seen this year – with widespread floods almost immediately following a long-term drought – have brought the importance of resilience into sharp focus.

“Taking action today to prepare and adapt our homes, businesses and infrastructure is vital.”