2019 Disaster Readiness: How to Get Prepared

As the calendar ticks over to a new year, we hope you’ve had a relaxing and happy holiday season. And whether or not you typically make New Year’s resolutions, we wanted to challenge you to try something slightly different this year; make a resolution that will prepare your business for a disaster should the worst happen in 2019.

Understand Your Biggest Risks, Start Planning Now
If you are in a region that could be hit by flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes or any other type of disaster, preparation is always essential to a smooth recovery and keeping your business as strong as possible. Failing to prepare will slow you down as you compete with other companies to line up help and figure out what you need to do to keep your business alive. In other words, inadequate planning compounds headaches, costs, and stresses during an already incredibly stressful time—and it could cost you your business. The harsh reality is that many businesses fail within a year if they are not able to reopen doors quickly after a disaster.1

Putting together a disaster recovery plan (DRP) may also sound stressful when you’re already busy with other important work. But if you spread the tasks out amongst a team over time, it’s relatively easy. And in addition to gaining the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll be ready for the worst, you may learn some new and important things about your business as you go through the process. To make the process manageable, start small. To begin, focus on four things:

  1. Form a response team, including a point person to lead the team and team members from each department.
  2. Research the biggest risks your business faces and evaluate how they could potentially affect your business, considering everything from potential impacts to day-to-day operations, to the impact on the community or your supply chain.
  3. Start a disaster recovery plan by compiling plans and documenting teams and emergency contacts in a centralized document (see below for some resources).
  4. Prepare an emergency kit that includes the key supplies you would need in the event of a disaster.

Once you have fundamentals in place and learn more about what’s critical for your business, you can keep building out your plan.

Resources for Developing or Updating Your DRP
Great DRPs are built one step at a time, and to make getting started easier you can use our Jump Start Disaster Recovery Plan template. It provides prompts for the kinds of questions you need to be considering and information you need to be gathering as you build a plan.

If your business is in an area that is susceptible to wildfires, we also offer a Quick Guide to Fire Damage that outlines key considerations for fire response plans. For hurricanes, our 5-Day Breakdown for Business Readiness covers a lot of the key considerations that should go into your planning.

It’s also important to remember that once you have a DRP in place, it’s a living document that should be updated on a regular basis since employees come and go and business circumstances evolve.

Have a Safe and Productive 2019!
That’s it. If you can carve out some time to get your DRP rolling and establish a partnership with a reputable restoration provider in 2019, you will be able to rest much easier the next time the forecast calls for something scary. And that will make for a better 2019 and beyond.