Disaster Plan for Business

The weather radio beeps loudly, demanding your attention. TV meteorologists advise you to seek shelter. State of emergency has been declared.

Are you prepared for a weather emergency? Do you have a plan? And how will you communicate to staff and customers?

It’s never too late to develop a disaster plan for business. The main goals of any such plan should be to keep your employees and customers safe, maintain customer service with minimal disruption, and protect your physical assets.


You can take some quick steps to protect your business:


1. Back up data off site.

You can use a web-based file hosting service such as Dropbox. Secure important paper files (such as building plans, insurance policies, employee contact and identification information, bank account records, supplier and shipping contact lists, computer backups) by putting them in a protected area in safe water and fire proof containers. A second set of those important documents should be stored off-site.


2. Secure physical location.

Exactly what is sounds like i.e. board up windows, secure outside equipment, move vehicles to safety, etc.


3. Communicate with staff and customers.

Have various ways of getting in touch with staff since communications channels maybe disrupted. Set-up an out-of-area number they can call to say they are OK. For example, it could be your Aunt Jean who lives in the Midwest. Let customers know if x happens then y and z will happen before hand. For example, if the schools are closed then the business will be closed. Use all available communications channels.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has great planning resources on their Ready Business site. And strongly urge you to visit this site as well as think about bringing in a professional to assist you with disaster preparedness in the future if you feel overwhelmed.

Having a disaster plan for business is so important. I know my small business is worth protecting. Isn’t yours?

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