Disaster preparedness for a business requires advance planning. Without a plan in place to weather the storm, it is significantly more difficult for your business to survive unscathed. Businesses can prepare for most disasters by planning ahead and having a disaster plan in place, so that when a disaster strikes, all your business has to do is execute the plan.
Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or human-caused hazards such as accidents, acts of violence, and even terrorism can be taken into consideration when planning your organization’s reaction.
Disaster Planning Tips
With that in mind, here are some tips for preparing your business for an emergency from the Small Business Administration:
- Create a disaster plan identify what your business needs to do to protect itself in the face of a natural disaster. Take steps to protect your property, employees, and customers.
- Determine what essential equipment is needed to keep your business open. Store extra supplies offsite, and make a plan for a temporary location if your company is forced to relocate after the disaster. Be ready for utility disruptions with a portable generator.
- Create an employee hotline to provide information to your employees such as when your business will reopen, alternative contact information, and what employees are expected to be on site after the disaster.
- If you have a larger number of employees, consider having a second hotline for families of your employees to call for information and updates.
- Make back-up copies of all tax, accounting, payroll and production records and customer data on computer hard drives, and store the records at an offsite location at least 100 miles away. Important documents should be saved in fireproof safe deposit boxes.
- Designate a contact person to communicate with other employees, customers and vendors.
- Review your insurance coverage to make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered. Most policies don’t cover flood damage.
- To protect your property from damage, hire a professional to evaluate your roof to make sure it can weather a major storm. Use stormproof doors and windows, and board them if possible.
- Develop a post-disaster communications strategy. Keep current phone numbers for your suppliers, employees, customers, utility companies, local media, and emergency agencies. If your business is closed for more than 24 hours, hire an answering service to field your customer’s calls and answer their questions.
Ansafone Contact Centers are experts at quick integration, and meeting your needs when an emergency hits. Contact us today for a quick solution to your disaster preparation needs.
More preparedness tips for businesses, homeowners and renters are available on the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster_recov/prepared/getready.html. The Institute for Business and Home Safety (www.ibhs.org) also has information on protecting your home or business. The federal government’s preparedness Web site www.ready.gov is another helpful resource.