Top Things to Include in a Disaster Plan
You must plan for a variety of unfortunate events in order to ensure that your business can survive in less-than-ideal situations. One of these events is a natural disaster; with enough severity, such disasters can easily destroy a business.
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You must plan for a variety of unfortunate events in order to ensure that your business can survive in less-than-ideal situations. One of these events is a natural disaster; with enough severity, such disasters can easily destroy a business. The following list includes the basic components of a disaster plan to ensure that your business will not be entirely wiped out.
- Duplicate records
Be sure to keep complete up-to-date duplicates of your computerized and written records. Federal law states that your company may be held liable for these records even if they are lost, so be sure to keep duplicates on hand.
- A list of activities and resources needed to sustain business
You should be able to identify the tasks needed to keep your business afloat and the resources needed to perform those activities. While the majority of your business is shut down and recovering from a disaster, you should at least be able to maintain customer service to facilitate a complete recovery.
- Worst-case scenario recovery plan
Your disaster plans should be geared toward the worst-case scenario to be sure that you are able to address any problems presented by a disaster. Locate alternate facilities, equipment, and supplies to keep your business going and be sure to know qualified contractors who can literally help you rebuild your business.
- Emergency response plan
Formulate a plan to respond to an emergency, including who will be contacted and when and what will happen to the company’s facilities, equipment, customers, and employees. Be sure that everyone involved in the business is trained in the response plan so that should it ever need to be implemented, it will run smoothly.
- A stockpile of disaster supplies
Should a disaster ever strike, you may need backup sources of power, such as generators, and backup communications systems, such as walkie-talkies, as well as basic emergency supplies, such as flashlights and first-aid kits. Be sure to have these things on hand in addition to the supplies needed to keep the business going.
- Emergency contact list
Have a list of phone numbers and addresses of local, state, and federal emergency management agencies (such as FEMA), financial institutions (such as banks), major clients, suppliers, insurance agents, and company employees and management. The list should be copied and kept in several places, so that it is available no matter when or where the disaster strikes.
- Emergency communications strategy
In addition to the emergency contact list, be sure to have an effective strategy in place so clients, suppliers, and others can contact your company by phone and at a new location to which the company may be forced to move. This strategy can include contacting people by phone, by email, or through advertisements, among other methods.
- Review your plan regularly
Once you have your entire disaster plan in place, be sure to review it regularly so that you and your employees all know how to deal effectively with a disaster. Be sure to assess the level of disaster risk in your area and keep your plan up to date so that your company can bounce back as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Source: The Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org) is a resource that provides information on auto, life, home, and business insurance, among others, to individuals and businesses.