Disaster Planning in Your Business

Living in Florida we hear a lot about the Atlantic hurricane season. From June 1st through November 30th is when most tropical cyclones are expected to develop across the northern Atlantic Ocean.

We’re fortunate that hurricanes can be forecast and tracked, but we don’t have that luxury with other emergency situations such as tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, flooding, or biological attacks, which can occur with little or no warning.

Having a preparedness plan is one of the most effective ways to prevent injuries or loss of life in the case of a disaster.

In order for your preparedness plan to be fully effective, it has to be thorough and well thought out.

Disaster preparedness for yourself and your business means protecting your personal items as well as critical business assets which includes your facilities, equipment, software, and data.

Have a plan

  • Be ready to act and move immediately.
  • Be sure all vehicles are properly maintained and have a full tank of gas.
  • Research places where you could temporarily relocate your family, pets and business operations if disaster strikes.
  • Have maps and/or a GPS in all vehicles.
  • Plan evacuation routes.
  • Identify appropriate shelter spaces.
  • On a previous Instructionsmith Office Hours call, Janica and I talked about the importance of routinely backing up all computer files and securing and storing paper files.

Be prepared

  • Back up files. Keep an offsite copy of information and all back up files, CDs and/or hard drives.
  • We keep 3-5 airtight/watertight storage boxes on hand that we use to store photos, files, important paperwork and other items that we want to protect from being damaged by water. The boxes have a foam strip in the lid, preventing moisture from getting in. The latching lid suctions the lid onto the container and secures it to the top of the airtight box.
  • Lightning strikes to overhead power and telephone lines in rural areas and close to your property can damage electronic devices and household appliances. The best way to avoid this is to unplug all of your devices and appliances before you evacuate or before the storm hits.
  • Keep a list of names and telephone numbers of contractors or repair firms who could make emergency temporary repairs or board up windows should your home or office building be damaged.
  • Maintain a current list of your suppliers, creditors, customers, and employees you need to contact about the state of your operation.
  • Make a financial plan to cover any upcoming debt obligations or continuing payroll expenses.
  • Work with an advisor or your insurance company to create a disaster and recovery plan that works best for your particular business.

Below, we’ve listed several agencies offering good articles containing pertinent information for disaster planning. They outline best practices for client file protection and being properly prepared in situations such as hurricanes, floods, fires and cases of unexpected accidents, injuries or illness, etc.

Preparedness Planning for Your Business

SBA

Entrepreneur.com How to Create a Disaster Plan for your Business

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