Preparing a Disaster Business Plan
How will your business be able to respond to natural disasters? Mother Nature can prove to be quite a formidable foe, throwing everything from floods, hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes at us. The key to your business surviving these worst-case scenarios is to be prepared in advance.
Being prepared for these types of scenarios means creating a natural disaster plan for your business. Some aspects to consider when designing that plan are explained in this blog.
What to Think About
There are many different factors you will need to consider when building a disaster plan for your business. This includes your employees as well as your assets such as equipment and merchandise.
Some of those considerations to include should be:
- How to safely protect your employees
- How to secure your assets
- How to get business up and running again
The Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov have created checklists that are available to offer assistance in identifying areas that should be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources can also show how prepared you truly are.
A Plan for Employees
When disaster strikes without warning, it’s important to have a plan that lays out procedures and safety measures for employees and visitors.
Make sure evacuation routes and exits from your facility are all clearly and visibly marked, provide an area where employees can take shelter when necessary, consider installing emergency lighting, and have designated staff “safety wardens” that are properly trained and ready to assist in all emergency efforts.
When you identify a shelter space, a basement or storm cellar is the ideal location in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. Choose a small interior room or closet or interior hallway if you have no basement space.
A Plan for Asset Protection
You’ll have to make careful decisions even if you have a brick and mortar location for your business to protect the assets inside the building. Everything from equipment to merchandise is at risk, which could cause thousands of dollars in losses.
Be sure you keep a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of your assets and merchandise, and yes, having photographs prior to a disaster whenever possible is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If your assets are kept on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that the backup system is working and that the storage system, such as a cloud storage option, cannot be damaged.
Work with a contractor if you own your building to uncover areas that could need improvement in regard to structural integrity. This contractor can also walk you through possible safety upgrades and offer advice on areas that may not withstand certain weather situations.
Getting Back to Business—Fast
When a natural disaster does occur, it will be possible that your business will have to be closed for repairs due to damage incurred. And every day you remain closed is another day of no business and lost profits. It is smart to fund a “rainy day” account to help you out with additional costs that may not be covered by your insurance.
Compile a list of contractors who will be able to make themselves available for construction and repairs, and find a cleanup and restoration service company that will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
With SERVPRO® of Maitland/Casselberry, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.
Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Maitland/Casselberry to be there for you. 407-388-0404