How Healthcare Facilities Can Better Prepare for and More Quickly Recover from Extreme Weather Events


From flooding to wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes, extreme weather events are growing in scale, frequency, and cost. Hospitals and healthcare systems are especially vulnerable when such disasters take place because they must recover quickly in order to provide necessary care to those affected by the emergency.

Additionally, weather emergencies can be costly for healthcare systems. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that 18 separate weather disasters in the US in 2022 each resulted in at least $1 billion in damages.

It’s imperative for healthcare systems to plan ahead for extreme weather events in order to maintain a safe environment for patients and mitigate associated costs. The good news is that one of the best resources to prepare for and recover from disasters is something your hospital uses everyday: your CMMS.

Track down missing assets, provide important information needed to repair damaged equipment, and make a plan to prioritize PMs in preparation of disaster, all through your CMMS.

Gain a better understanding of how your CMMS can help your organization plan ahead and recover faster in the face of disaster.

Preparing Your Facility for a Weather Disaster

The leading healthcare CMMS solutions contain key features to help your operations team stay vigilant should extreme weather impact your community. The key to preparation is ensuring your CMMS has the right features to allow you to maintain the following measures.

Emphasizing Preventive Maintenance

One of the most important ways to prepare for emergencies is following a robust preventive maintenance (PM) schedule. By staying ahead of work orders through PMs, you can ensure all assets and equipment will work properly should an emergency hit. Depending on the weather forecast, it’s essential to ensure all fire extinguishers will function, your organization’s HVAC systems are prepared for a heat wave, or drainage systems will divert heavy rainfall.

Unfortunately, not all CMMS solutions emphasize PMs in the same way. To adequately prepare for emergencies, make sure your CMMS has the ability to create custom dashboards to see open PMs on high-risk equipment, evaluate analytics on the rate of CM vs PM completion, and promote efficiency for better productivity.

More Preparation, Less Paperwork

A CMMS streamlines work order scheduling so you can quickly deploy technicians as soon as a major storm is predicted.This helps reduce time spent on paperwork and more time tending to work orders. No need to pore over spreadsheets of asset conditions and work order history – find it all with the click of a button and spend more time preparing.

Reprioritize the Most Essential Work Orders

With long backorders, it’s not always clear which work orders should take precedence. But in certain weather emergencies, some assets are going to be more in-demand than others. Re-prioritize PMs within your CMMS to tend to the assets that will be most important before, during, and after a weather emergency.

Recovery Quickly After an Emergency

Your CMMS can help you take measures to save time and reduce costs after a weather disaster. Use the following functionalities of your software tools to get back on track.

Streamline Work Order Scheduling

Perhaps nothing is more important in your recovery efforts than the ability to schedule work orders easily and efficiently. Determine which assets need service, assign work orders, and note the materials needed for the repairs to hasten your return to a safe and secure environment.

Improve Accuracy in Your Asset Inventory

It’s important to have an accurate and up to date asset inventory to get your facility back on track. Knowing how many of a particular asset you have, whether you have more in storage, or the number that will need to be replaced, can help you make decisions quickly and potentially save you money by preventing you from buying something you don’t need.

Move Faster with Digital Floorplans

The mobile capabilities of your CMMS allow your technicians to take the work order system and asset inventory everywhere they go. Cut down on time locating each individual itemby using a CMMS with digital floorplans with assets, work orders, and PMs indicated with graphics. If you notice an asset isn’t where it should be according to the floorplan, you can move quickly to locate the asset and replace it.

The Right CMMS Will Help Cut Time and Save Money

Your CMMS may be the most important tool when preparing for and responding to an extreme weather event, but not all systems have the same functionalities. If your CMMS is lacking significant capabilities, you may not be able to prepare or recover as quickly as you could with another product.

The most important features are a user-friendly work order scheduling, an emphasis on PMs, tools that help you maintain an accurate asset inventory, and mobile capabilities with digital floorplans.

It’s time to evaluate whether your current solution can offer a rigorous response to emergencies that can and will happen and decide whether you’re willing to risk up to $1 billion in damages and time spent repairing, replacing, and locating assets in the wake of disaster.

About Zachary Seely, CEO of FSI []

As CEO at FSI, Zachary leads the company to help facilities optimize their environment and empower their employees with digitally transformed maintenance operations.

Seely’s career has centered around business development, strategy and growth with a focus on new technologies and innovation. In addition to driving tech-sector growth, Seely has been a member of the J.M. Huber Corporation’s Board of Directors since 2017. Prior to joining the Board as a Director, Seely served on multiple boards and committees across the organization.

Seely brings experience from his time as an independent management consultant focused on the media and technology industries, and previously led business and investment strategy for start-up and accelerator programs. He also brings experience from his time at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company as a member of the Business Technology Office.

Seely holds a B.A. from Bates College and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.