An Ounce of Prevention…
Reports vary, but according to the American Red Cross, as many of 40% of small businesses never reopen after a major disaster. A large percentage of the businesses that never reopen and the businesses affected by the billions of dollars in disaster losses are ill-prepared to handle the challenges that disasters bring. The following are simple tips that businesses should employ to become better prepared:
- Develop phone lists of key employees and customers, and give copies to key staff members.
- Encourage employees to be prepared for disasters at home.
- Keep up-to-date records of suppliers, insurance carriers, banks, etc. in safe locations.
- Maintain emergency supply kits at the office. Encourage employees to maintain similar kits at home and in their cars.
- Frequently back up computer data offsite in case of outage.
- Prioritize highly important business functions and specify which staff will be responsible for them in case of disaster.
- Make sure that employees fully understand disaster procedures.
- After an event, quickly report any losses to insurance companies and protect your property from further damage.
- Document damage with photos and videos for insurance and recovery purposes.
- When you rebuild, make sure that you build back better and stronger.
- Realize that key business networks break down after a disaster and that there are shocks to the demand side of your business as well to internal operations.
Disaster Resistant Business Toolkit
A valuable resource for disaster preparedness planning is the DRB Toolkit™ an interactive software application specifically designed to assist nonprofit organizations and small to mid-size businesses with building a comprehensive disaster plan and business continuity program. The DRB Toolkit™ is 100 percent customizable and guides users through the critical plan development process that can be modified for specific business and organizational needs.