Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Many of them impact private households and small businesses alike. How well prepared is your business to handle various disasters that come along? What can you do to weather these disasters even better?
Have a Plan in Place
According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 53 percent of businesses have a disaster recovery plan. This leaves 47 percent of businesses, nearly half, either unsure of whether or not they have a plan or lacking a plan altogether. Nearly one in ten businesses, according to the same infographic, has experienced a business loss due to their lack of a disaster recovery plan. Establishing a plan for disaster recovery is absolutely the first step businesses need to take.
While some emergencies are difficult to predict, for example, tornadoes that seem to come up out of nowhere, fires, and attacks, there are some that can be prepared for, to some degree. Hurricanes, for instance, often leave days of time to plan and prepare your business for an indefinite shutdown. Keep up with the news so that you know what’s going on with hurricanes, wildfires, and other potential disasters that may impact your business. You may even be able to gauge with some degree of certainty, days when tornadic activity, flooding, or mudslides are more likely by keeping up with local weather reports.
Train Your Employees
The best of plans and intentions mean nothing if disaster strikes and no one knows what they are supposed to do. It’s not enough to simply create plans. You must also make sure your employees are adequately trained for their roles and responsibilities when disaster does occur.
You need to have regularly scheduled drills, frequent training, and notices posted throughout your workplace for specific disasters (for instance, restaurants and clubs need to post information about what to do in the event of fires because there is a greater risk of those things happening in these environments).
You can’t simply put your disaster preparedness plan on a shelf and hope it comes in handy when disaster strikes either. It’s necessary and important to constantly revisit and reassess your plan in search of new technologies and tools that can help make recovery a much smoother process for your business.
Ready.gov, recommends using testing and drills as a prime opportunity to pinpoint parts of the plan where changes or improvements are needed and then finding better options for greater safety for your business, employees, and guests.
Additionally, one of the most important things business owners can do in order to protect their businesses when disasters do occur is to have business insurance and general liability insurance to help them weather their own financial storms that often occur in the aftermath of disasters, natural or otherwise.