Preparing Your Supply Chain for the 2020 Hurricane Season
On top of everything happening in 2020 thus far to add to the disorder, hurricane season is off to a historically fast start. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual Atlantic Hurricane forecast, published a couple of weeks ago, shows an abnormal active season to arise in the upcoming months. This year, NOAA is forecasting between 13 and 19 named storms, six to 10 of which could become hurricanes (compared to the average six). Three to six of those hurricanes could develop into major hurricanes — category 3, 4, or 5 storms with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher. The average season sees three major hurricanes. Managing a supply chain is a complicated business on the best of days. Under the unfavorable conditions of a tropical storm or hurricane, a supply chain can swiftly move from complex to chaotic, causing severe supply chain disruptions.
Potential Supply Chain Issues
When it comes to supply chain management, knowing the areas most likely to experience hurricane-related damage is vital. So is understanding which links in the chain are most likely to encounter disruption. These notably include the nation’s ports. Fulfillment centers and warehouses also are high on the list, as they often are built on low and within proximity to port terminals. Transportation routes are also a potentially vulnerable spot, as floodwaters can wash out road surfaces. That can happen even with major highways, such as Interstate 10 during Hurricane Katrina.
How to Prepare?
The first step for prevention is awareness. Identifying facilities that are in high-risk areas helps managers prepare for the worst. This also includes maintaining a consistent system for checking on the weather every day along with the supply chain footprint.
Having an emergency plan in place that includes factors such as alternative routes for drivers and procedures for production outside facilities in the path of potential disaster. If possible, ensuring that production is ramped so essential goods can get to their destinations before disaster strikes.
Coordination between supply chain partners inside and outside your business is crucial. Establish a team that will be responsible for making decisions during a crisis, and communicate it throughout the supply chain. When communication channels break down, people often act and react on their own, thinking that they are doing the right thing, which may hurt the overall plan.
Supply Chain Intelligence Center for Disaster Information
The American Logistics Aid Network, in collaboration with different logistics and supply chain companies, has created a supply chain dashboard. The Supply Chain Intelligence center monitors the real-time status of roads, ports, and airports in disaster-impacted areas. Register to request access here.
Work with an Agile 3PL Provider
When a hurricane or tropical storm is on the horizon, it can be challenging to prepare your business for possible supply chain disruption. The best way to create a plan for your supply chain is to work with a proactive logistics solutions provider. We help companies of all sizes within various industries prepare for supply chain uncertainty. Talk with Taylor today. Fill out the form below, and a Team Taylor rep will be in touch in no time.