Hurricane Sandy is currently hitting the eastern seaboard. The National Weather Service is forecasting torrential rains, massive flooding and power outages. New York, Washington D.C. & Philadelphia have cancelled school & closed their transit systems. Many large corporations told workers to stay home. In the past, work would have come to a complete halt. But many businesses are up and running due to technological advances such as social enterprise tools, cloud management systems and group communication via social media.
â€śProductivity matters at every business, especially startups. If our team has power, they will be working,â€ť said Daniel Mattio, Cofounder of Mirror, a social discovery tool based in New Yorkâ€™s Flatiron district.
In an interview with Venturebeat, Mattio says he plans to remain in the office during the storm to coordinate workflow. Heâ€™s no stranger to running a business in a disaster, during Hurricane Irene he communicated with his CTO in Pennsylvania using Skype and asked for updates from the staff via GroupMe every three hours.
Many businesses have adopted a â€śbusiness as usualâ€ť disaster plan and are using what would usually be seen as downtime as a chance to innovate & get a jump on their competition.
â€śWeâ€™re using this time to sneak in a few extra hours of productivity when no-one is looking,â€ť said Jana Trantow, Cofounder of JoinFun. â€śWe actually built our office to be a lot like an apartment, so myself and a few others are crashing there for a couple of days,â€ť says Jason L. Baptiste of OnSwipe. â€śI see the hurricane as an opportunity to be heads down and get a lot of work done over the next couple of days.â€ť
Many small business owners are expressing the same sentiment expressed by Sonu Panda, Cofounder ofÂ H.Bloom, a flower delivery service.
â€śItâ€™s business as usual.â€ť