Humans are wonderful procrastinators. Our defense is usually: “Well, it won’t happen to me…!” And yet hardly a week goes by without news of businesses, homes, and lives that are destroyed by wildfires, floods, tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes. And now we’re dealing with a pandemic virus.
Prepare for survival
We can’t prevent natural disasters, but it’s not hard to prepare for survival. Large-scale problems mean you will be on your own for days or weeks.
How long is too long for your business? Government assistance is known to be slow and limited; insurance settlements, if any, can often be delayed.
Therefore, contingency or response planning – to mitigate your downtime – is all you’ve got. One basic or generic plan can work well for different situations. Will you have something ready? Or will you wing it?
Questions needing your attention
- Do you have contact information for employees, customers, suppliers, and recovery experts (legal, tax, insurance) that’s readily accessible? From anywhere?
- Are your business-critical processes written down, step-by-step, so anyone can follow? Have at least two employees been cross-trained in each of these critical tasks?
- Can employees work securely off-site? Can phones be forwarded; do you need a VPN? Have you tested it recently?
- Where’s your data – on a disc, or USB drive, or in the cloud? Is it really accessible? Have you tested it recently?
- If you need shelter, do you have adequate supplies for all employees? What else needs to be prepared? Have employees taken personal precautions?
Plans are critical and need to be tested and trained! Your staff learns by doing and practicing – not just reading.
Check out additional resources and planning tips at –
- SF72 – San Francisco’s hub for emergency preparedness – 72hours.org
- FEMA’s “Ready” Disaster Plan – http://www.ready.gov/business
- The Insurance Institute’s “Open For Business” (OFB) website – https://www.disastersafety.org/open-for-business/ofb-basic/. Download their “Business Continuity Toolkit” here: http://disastersafety.org/wp-content/uploads/OFB-EZ_Toolkit_IBHS.pdf
- Operation Emergency Prepare – valuable checklists for home and office: http://createthegood.org/toolkit/operation-emergency-prepare
- AARP’s Grab-and-Go Bag – https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/packing-your-emergency-preparedness-kit-fd.html
Check out C2CB.co if you need a clarifying, no-obligation discussion or some pro-bono consulting help about how to get this done.
Please understand that this article is for educational purposes only. The author is not a lawyer, accountant or insurance broker. Recommendations presented are intended as practical observations, suggestions and a guide to areas requiring further analysis and perhaps certain changes. Only you can make decisions and implement changes.