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ASAE's Response to Jonas

When Winter Storm Jonas hit the East Coast this weekend, associations immediately put their emergency action plans in place. We checked in with ASAE to see how it handled the disruption.


The grand-daddy of the association industry closed its offices Friday at 11am and gave its over 140 employees administrative leave and the option to telework, says spokeswoman Sabrina Kidwai. Like most associations, ASAE takes its cues from the federal government when it comes to closing the office. The government oftentimes takes its cues from the public transit system, given that a good number of employees use it.

ASAE staff were encouraged to bring their laptops home on Friday, so they could access ASAE’s systems through Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection or through ASAE’s VPN. Many of the association’s systems, such as payroll and HR, are web-based, so they can be accessed from anywhere, including a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. (We digress.) 


The snowstorm cost the DC region $250M to $570M in economic losses, according to two estimates reported by the Washington Business Journal. Moody’s says the storm cost about $3B in economic activity across the Northeast. Because businesses had time to prepare, the economic impact wasn’t as bad. It also helps that there weren’t widespread power outages and the storm took place over the weekend instead of during the workweek. 

Sabrina says ASAE didn’t have to cancel any big meetings or events, and there was minimal loss from productivity. “We expect that the work will be made up and that any losses would be minimal,” she adds. 

So when will ASAE and other businesses head back to work? As soon as federal employees get the green light to return.