10 Disaster Preparation Tips for Businesses

Is your business ready to handle a catastrophe? You owe it to your employees and your customers to be prepared – whether it’s for a natural disaster, a man-made hazard, or a large-scale utility disruption. That’s why risk management should be an integral part of every business continuity plan.

Here are ten tips for disaster preparation and recovery to help ensure the survival of small businesses on which so much of our economy depends.

1. Make a plan. If you don’t already have a plan for business disaster recovery, make it a priority to create one. Then, ensure that it is regularly reviewed and kept current.

2. Involve all employees. Your workforce is your most valuable asset – so it’s important to enlist everyone in the planning, communication, and implementation of your crisis strategy.

3. Promote communications. When disaster strikes, the ability to quickly contact key personnel such as your workforce, business partners, construction services, and insurance companies is vital. Make sure that your contact lists are regularly updated, including alternative numbers and addresses where possible.

4. Evacuation procedures. If you are forced to abandon your main premises, you will need an alternative location in order to carry on your business and continue to provide for your customers. Make sure all employees know the drill for evacuating your buildings, and identify a second site from which operations may resume.

5. Assess your business assets. Apart from your workforce, equipment and data may represent the most valuable component of your business. Conduct an audit of facilities and equipment to establish how they may be kept safe and secure in the event of a disaster.

6. Backup essentials. Keep alternative supplies ready, including essentials for power, communications, and first aid, and always remember to regularly backup all electronic data.

7. Organize cash flow. Identify extra resources to handle unforeseen expenses, and determine which employees will have access to emergency funds.

8. Review your insurance. Do your policies cover areas such as fire damage restoration or water damage cleanup? Discuss essential emergency provision with your agent.

9. Plan to rebuild. Discuss how your business goals and focus may differ from today, how your management team will adapt, and how you will re-establish contact with customers.

10. Practice your plan. As well as your company’s emergency drills, rehearse and test your contingency plan regularly, and update it as needed.

None of us likes to contemplate the aftermath of a disaster, but while we hope for the best, we also need to prepare for the worst. Recent events at home and abroad teach us that emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. The efficiency of your planning will likely play a large part in determining how well your business survives if the unthinkable occurs. Contact Interstate Restoration today at 1-800-622-6433 and learn how we can help you reduce interruption to your business in the event of a disaster.