Can your business survive a major fire or other natural disaster?
Unfortunately many companies never open for business again after a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood or other weather-related catastrophe shuts them down — but that doesn’t have to happen to your business.
The key is putting a disaster recovery plan in place – and reviewing it once a year – to protect your employees, customers, your physical assets and your investments.
Here are some tips to help you get started with keeping your business secure in a disaster situation:
- Review Insurance Coverage.
Talk to your agent or provider about exactly what your policy covers. Does it cover flood damage, physical loss, interruption of your business? You should also ask what documents you will need to provide to your insurance company after an emergency.
- Plan Ahead.
Develop a written disaster recovery plan for your business and its contents and determine what conditions will trigger its implementation. Review the plan with local and state officials.
- Test Your Plan at Regular Intervals.
The simulated emergency drill should test the alarm system, fire alarm system, communications, response teams and external emergency services. Be sure your business security system provider offers redundant communications and a back-up battery system.
- Employee Training is Key.
Train your workers to deliver prompt, reliable, and correct emergency responses for a variety of disasters and situations.
- Back-up Important Data.
Continuously back-up your computer files in the cloud or in an off-premise location — and keep duplicate paper records in an off-site location.
- Prepare for Service Disruptions of Your Utilities.
If a disaster strikes, you may be without electricity, gas, and telecommunications services. So as part of your preparedness plan, speak to your service providers about any back-up options – like portable generators – you could put into place to keep your business running.
- Identify Critical Equipment.
Determine what equipment, e.g., production machinery, computers, printers, refrigeration equipment – whatever you need to keep your business running. Then identify several suppliers you can call on to replace or repair this equipment if its damaged or destroyed.
- What Happens if You Can’t Operate?
Devise a plan for what will happen if you can’t use your building for an indefinite period of time. You should also have plan to let your workers know when they can return to work.
Remember, it’s going to take more than luck to weather a disaster. If you follow these tips, your business will have a better chance of surviving.
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