We have all experienced the minor inconvenience of a loss of power and its effect on your business which relies on communication with your customers and vendors via phone and internet. But are you prepared for a major disaster that keeps you from doing business for weeks or months at a time?
According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster. Will you be one of the 25 percent if disaster strikes you and your business?
The following recommendations from the U.S. Small Business Administration can start you on your way to creating a disaster recovery plan for your business:
- Employees should know where all the emergency exits are located.
A safety coordinator could be appointed to develop evacuation plans and safety drills.
- Meet with your insurance agent.
Business interruption insurance replaces income lost when a business suffers downtime and should be a consideration. Make sure you know what your insurance does and doesn't cover.
- Backups of vital business records should be stored offsite.
Paper and Computer records should be copied, saved and stored offsite at least 50 miles away from the main business site.
- Create a "recovery communications" plan.
Assign key employees as spokespersons who will contact suppliers, creditors, other employees, customers, media and utility companies to get the word out that the business is still viable. Also, that spokesperson can keep the public informed of rebuilding efforts, if necessary.
For more disaster recovery plan recommendations and information about disaster assistance, check out the U.S. Small Business Administration website at: http://archive.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/disasterpreparedness/index.html and FEMA's website at: http://www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm
To find out the risks in your area, check out the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety's website at: http://www.disastersafety.org