Many businesses, from large companies to local “mom and pop” stores, were drastically impacted by Hurricane Sandy last October. The storm left devastation and billions of dollars of damage and many business owners are still trying to pick up the pieces and keep their businesses going.
An important step for all businesses impacted by a hurricane or other disaster, such as a fire or flood, is making a plan on how to better prepare for future disasters.
- Expect the unexpected: Weather can be unpredictable. It’s important to know the potential risks for your area and take the necessary precautions. Being prepared for disasters and having a business continuity plan in place prior to a storm can help your business stay afloat.
- Be prepared for down time: Depending on the storm, areas may be evacuated, taking you away from your business activities for an undetermined period of time. Determine how long your business could survive with its doors closed?
- Protect your business assets: Records and information are your business’ most important asset, so it pays to backup and secure the information on a regular basis. But take things one step further by storing backups of your information in a locked safe that is temperature controlled and resistant to fire and heat and is at a separate offsite location that is secure to ensure you can access the critical information during a disaster.
- Getting back to business can be difficult: However, with a plan in place there are ways to keep business moving. Make sure your plan identifies alternative locations your business could operate in the event of a disaster, backup suppliers or vendors outside of your region, establish procedures for retrieving data in case original files are destroyed and how you will communicate with employees.
- Make sure you’re covered: Talk with your insurance agent to be sure you have adequate and sufficient insurance coverage for your business.
Dealing with any type of business loss can be challenging. Be sure to check out information from FEMA regarding tips to replacing lost or damaged records by visiting, http://www.njbia.org/Libraries/PDF_Files/DR-4086-NJPrivateSectorAdvisory012REPLACINGLOSTORDAMAGEDRECORDSPARTOFNJRECOVERY.sflb.ashx.
For more information about business records management and disaster recovery planning, visit www.ssbrm.com.
Photo by Spleeness