Is it snowing yet?

Charles 4 Comments

Hands up, who here has a business continuity plan? Ok a few hands, but half of you have already fallen asleep. Well before you do nod off have a look at this from the Connecticut newspaper, the Hartford Courant.

Last week there were early and unexpected snowstorms across the state. Snow isn’t unusual but this deluge was unexpected and, with the leaves still on the trees, unusually disruptive causing power outages and loss of telephone lines. It hit funeral businesses hard. Apart from the candle-lit wakes, it reports that:

Funeral homes need power for equipment used in embalming bodies. Although gasoline-fuelled generators are capable of providing enough power to embalm, many are not powerful enough to keep all the lights on and to heat a large building. Once bodies are embalmed, they can be stored for long enough that a funeral could be pushed back if that is the families’ request.

Lack of Internet access has been a major snag this week for funeral directors who typically file their obituaries online with photos. Instead, buy cheap tadalafil many are calling in the information, faxing — if they have a functioning phone line, or handing the information over by hand. Any of those options takes time, and, in some cases, the fewer obituaries in newspapers this week is a result of families pushing funerals back as they deal with urgent matters like day care for out-of-school children, work, trees on cars and finding a place to stay while their home is cold and dark.

You can read the full article here:

Business continuity plans are where you write down what you would do when your business is disrupted. It doesn’t need to be bad weather. It could be a power cut, mechanical failure, fire or flood.

But, you say, ‘I am experienced, I know what I would do’. And so you are – but is everyone you work with as experienced as you are? Would they all be able to make the same decisions?

Worth thinking about with – so they say – a bad winter on the way.


  1. Charles

    It seems to be a weird contradiction, this idea. Planning for the unplanable. Perhaps just an envelope to be opened in the event of an emergency with a piece of paper inside saying “Don’t panic, think!”
    We had to do the funeral of a friend a week before Christmas last year in the middle of the bad weather. On the day, we couldn’t even back our car out. The funeral was on Bodmin Moor, in a village hall, so we called a farmer who was going and he came and collected us and the coffin in one of those stretched monster cars that you can’t see the point of until that very moment.
    And call me a lateral thinker, (my wife certainly doesn’t) but I can think of a solution to that freezing weather stops embalming conundrum…

  2. Charles

    Personally I can’t see the problem for undertakers. A bit of cold weather simply obviates the need for a mortuary – the only thing you want an undertaker for in the first place – and you can leave the body in the garden shed for the duration while you find a babysitter and rescue your car and get to the supermarket to panic-buy milk and Cheerios before everyone else does.

    Let them all just take a well earned break and leave the horrid fluid in the bottles where it can do no harm.

  3. Charles

    I rather liked snow until I became an undertaker. Now it causes very real stresses and strains – especially on hospital mortuaries, and on our own capacities both practical and emotional. Postponing funerals once announced in the papers, re-booking the whole show for a later day hoping it will have thawed (when all the other funeral directors are doing the same). Impassable lanes, unpredictable timings; I could go on.
    However, a vicar round here calls Family Tree ‘Extreme Funerals’, as we have ‘done a Rupert’ on several occasions together in deep snow. Snow has also given me some of our most memorable and beautiful funerals too. A time for sloe gin, either way.

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