Disaster and emergency planning often get overlooked when it comes to business planning. This is especially problematic today since natural disasters are more prevalent than ever before. The good news is that a little planning ahead can help businesses to be ready when disaster strikes so that they can resume operations as quickly as possible or avoid interruption altogether.
Step 1. Preparation
Preparing for disasters and emergencies involves a good amount of risk management and awareness. This means taking into account disasters and emergencies that are common in the area of operation and in areas where essential business assets are located, such as remote server locations and/or storage facilities.
Once an accurate assessment of risk has been made, a business can then make preparations for when a disaster or emergency strikes. Purchasing the necessary insurance is a given and notifying employees of the appropriate evacuation procedures is important as well. Being legally prepared to take an insurer to court should they fail to pay what they owe can also help should the need arise.
Step 2. Mitigation
During and immediately after a disaster or emergency, a business owner needs to know how to keep their business running. Every day that a business doesn’t operate is a major loss of revenue that could even lead to bankruptcy in some cases. Finding alternate ways to continue operations not only helps the business but the employees that rely on it for income.
Government agencies such as the IRS and FEMA are also prepared to help businesses to survive during emergencies and have detailed information on what to do. Tips from these sources include keeping paperless tax info and protecting valuable assets with location-appropriate contingency plans.
Step 3. Rebuilding
Once a disaster or emergency has passed, it is time to assess the damages and begin rebuilding. In most cases, business owners can find a local expert who specializes in restoration services common to the area of operation. For example, if an area is known for dealing with hurricanes, there are likely restoration services that specialize in dealing with wind and water damage.
Once again, it is important to maintain business operations during the rebuilding process. Fortunately, restoration services understand this and work as quickly and/or unintrusively as possible. This being the case, it can be a good idea to already have a relationship with these service providers so that they will have a better understanding of how the business operates before they need to be called upon.
Safety Comes First
For both legal and ethical reasons, a business should place the lives of its employees and/or contractors first when it comes to disaster and emergency management. Not only does this help a business get back on its feet faster after a disaster, but it also lowers the chances of being sued by its workers for negligence. In the end, disaster and emergency management is all about being prepared, taking action, and rebuilding as needed. A business that can do that can survive almost any emergency.
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