Recently, I spoke with a friend whose home was destroyed in Galveston, Texas, by the furry and force of
Hurricane Ike. Fortunately her family and she left the area before the storm hit, so they are safe and well. But their lives are certainly changed.
Her story caused me to think about how vulnerable we all are. Disaster can strike any of us at anytime, anywhere, leaving behind demolished homes, businesses and lives. Yet, very few of us take the necessary steps to be prepared for when a disaster hits – personally or professionally. Right?
Think about the devastation in Galveston and think about how many small businesses were lost in that area. What would you do if a disaster occurred in your area today? Are you prepared? Could you continue business operations tomorrow or would everything be lost?
Disasters of the magnitude of Hurricane Ike are tragic, but business disasters are typically caused by less ominous forces. Imagine the sprinkler system going off in your building destroying all electronic systems, customer files and inventory. When was the last time you backed everything up? Workers on a nearby construction project cut through underground cables causing a major blackout in your area. Could you continue to service your customers?
It is impossible to prevent a disaster from happening, but it is possible to diminish the impact. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
? Make a List of Business Essentials. Determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep your business operating.
? Create a Contact List. Make sure you have a list of your suppliers, customers and other business resources located at an off-site location.
? Temporary Site. Do your homework in advance, and identify a location where you can set up operations for your business if your primary location is not accessible or functional
? Document Storage. Keep duplicate files of all critical business documents at a separate location.
? Review Your Insurance Coverage.
? Emergency Supplies. Have a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, water, food, first-aid etc.
? Computer Systems. Back up financial information and keep off-site.