Don't Forget September is National Preparedness Month

There is still time left in National Preparedness Month to start preparing your business for the unexpected. Here are a few action items (taken from an article by Roberta J. Witty at Gartner Research) that will help jump-start your disaster planning:

1. Schedule a test of your emergency notification process or your crisis management plan. It doesn't matter if your call trees are automated or not, schedule the test. And use a minor event for your crisis management plan exercise — getting the team together to walk through the overall procedure is as important as going through every detail of a complex scenario.

2. Take a snapshot of where your program stands on the basics such as: the date of the last recovery plan tested, does every department have a point person to contact should a disaster strike, etc. Inventories and checklists are a great way to gather data that can be used to develop new projects to help mature your preparedness program.

3. Talk to the local emergency services agencies for each of your facilities to better understand their response capabilities so that you have a better sense of what will be available during a disaster. Report this information to your management so that they know what extra steps you might need to take in your own recovery procedures.

4. Talk to your insurance company to understand if you have business interruption insurance, and if you do, what they will cover, how long they will cover you and how you need to report the information to them if you experience a disaster at a covered facility. Report this information to your management as well — they may have a misconception of how much your insurance will help financially.

FEMA also offers a very helpful Website (National Preparedness Coalition) that shows you how others are preparing all around the country. Take a peek and let us know how YOU plan to prepare for a disaster.