No matter where you live and do business, there is always the chance that a weather event will create havoc for your business and either cause an interruption in your productivity or bring a halt to your business activity altogether. Although it is difficult, if not impossible, to forecast these major events months in advance, it is important to plan for their eventuality.
When it comes to events that impact business, the most common are fire, flood, hurricane, coastal storm, tornado, earthquake, landslide, or the most unpredictable of all natural events, human error.
As we look at the various protocols and best practices regarding the safekeeping of your business during such an event, it is important to note that the highest priority must be given to your most valuable asset, the physical and psychological safety of your employees.
Each of the natural disaster events listed above have unique factors that require unique responses. However, it is important to note the actions that should be taken by a business to safeguard against any eventuality. We will split these responsive actions into the following four categories:
- Technology Precautions
- People Precautions
- Process Continuity
- Insurance Precautions.
We begin with the actions that you and your company should take in regard to safeguarding the hardware and data of your business. Companies such as Data Magic Computer Services specialize in helping businesses like yours plan for these eventualities and can be a great help to you. Safeguarding your IT requires actions such as:
- Having your data backed up off-site
- Having your business-critical applications backed up off-site
- Making arrangements for calls to be rerouted to another location
- Having a central location (like your website) for employees, customers, and vendors to get up-to-the-minute updates
- Establishing the capability of running the entire business off of the cloud if necessary
- Moving hardware up off of the floor to reduce damage in case of localized flooding
Nothing is more valuable to your company than your employees. No matter how great your product is, it is nothing without the people who work to produce and promote it. Making plans for your people well in advance of a natural disaster event shows consideration and good business judgement. Some of the things you should consider in regard to your employees in such an event are:
- Make sure you have alternate methods to pay your staff if your checkbook is burned in a fire or if you lose access to your regular electronic payment system.
- Arrange ahead of time for workspace in another location outside of an expected event’s damage radius.
- Keep internal communications moving so that everyone is updated and on the same page.
To keep your business going in the event of something like a storm, fire, or flood it is important to think through what you will need to keep your “process” going forward. Under consideration on this topic is how to keep on doing things like:
- Keeping up with regulatory reports
- Keeping vendors and employees paid
- Keeping purchase orders and invoices flowing
- Keeping phone, email, and chat working for customer service
Insurance is an important element to your whole disaster planning strategy. Having the right insurances in place will determine how soon your business can get back on its feet after a natural disaster event. There are several things you should do in regard to insurance. They are:
- Take the time to meet with your insurance agent and discuss all of the eventualities as well as coverages available.
- Make sure that you have insurance that will cover more than just the physical property. You need a policy or an extra policy that will cover the downtime, lost business, and any IT losses you may suffer.
- Check to ensure that your policy does not include “anti-concurrent causation” clauses that deny claims for damage that occur during an event that can be attributed to another cause.
Whether it is something caused by human error or mother nature, your business is vulnerable to unexpected disasters of many kinds. Preparation is the only fortification that you have against these unforeseen threats. A good IT managed service provider like Data Magic Computer Services can help you think through and guard against these eventualities. Their background and expertise are just what you need to give your company the best chance at surviving natural disasters and recovering thereafter.
Data Magic Computer Services is waiting to talk to you about your business disaster preparedness plans. Give them a call today at (469) 635-5500 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.