disaster preparedness

Preparing for a catastrophic disaster (fire, tornado, etc.) is essential for every business owner. The Ad Council reported that, based on a recent national survey, only 38% of businesses have an emergency plan in place. Strangely, 90% said that it is "somewhat" or "very" important for businesses to prepare. There is obviously a discrepancy between what business owners know they need and actually do it.

disaster preparedness

Taking care of customers, fulfilling orders, meeting with potential customers and all the other daily activities required of a small-to-medium sized business owner, make it difficult to find the time to create a disaster plan. Awareness for the need of a plan to deal with business interruption is high. Execution of this awareness falls short.

Disaster preparedness, or a business continuity plan, increases a business' security and stability. This plan also provides an intangible - but very real - benefit. It also provides peace of mind for the owner as well as the employees.

The Department of Homeland Security's website offers a significant amount of information to assist business owners in creating a continuity/disaster recovery plan. Three key steps towards disaster recovery are:

Protectyour investment

- Review your insurance coverage annually with your insurance agent

- Inform your insurance agent of any major changes during the year

- Create an inventory of all business assets

- Back up all records with an encrypted, on-line backup service

Planto stay in business

- Create a written emergency procedures checklist

- Compile an emergency contact list

- Determine a potential alternative business location

- Secure backup suppliers

Talk to your employees

- Get your employees' involvement and buy-in to the process

- Advise your staff of emergency supplies that your business can provide

- Develop, communicate and practice an evacuation plan

These are just the beginning, but a very important start. Proper planning now will help ensure recovery from a disaster of any kind, from a computer crash to total destruction from a fire or natural disaster. This proactive measure will help ensure that your business can recover and reopen quickly. But there is more to this than just reopening - you are honoring your commitment to your employees, customers and the local economy.

Schedule blocks of time on your calendar to create your plan. It is important enough to set time aside for this very time-consuming task. If time and manpower are not available, there are many business continuity planning companies that can help you create your plan. They will learn about your business, your facility and your processes. Then they will create a plan specific to your needs.

Cindy Hartman is Co-Owner of Hartman Inventory Systems, a complete turnkey business package to start your own personal property (home) inventory business. Learn from her years of experience to reduce the start-up and trial and error issues faced when starting a business on your own. Visit her website to learn more about this growing industry and how you can receive the assistance to help you achieve success.

disaster preparedness


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