How to Be Prepared If Disaster Strikes

More than 25% of businesses that close due to a natural disaster never reopen, according to research conducted by the Insurance Information Institute. Small-business owners are especially vulnerable. That’s why disaster recovery planning for small-business owners is more important than ever. Following are some tips to ensure that you’re prepared:

Review Your Insurance Options: Loss of income and loss of use of plant and equipment are situations encountered after a disaster. Review existing policies to ensure that you have proper coverage. Most policies exclude earthquakes, fire and flooding, so it is important to purchase riders to ensure that you have full coverage.

Duplicate Data and Important Contacts: Cloud computing is making it easier to back up existing data and important contact information in a secure, off-site location, but it’s important to make sure it is performed on a regular basis and available when needed.

Implement Alternative Work Schedules and Locations: During a crisis, many members of staff may be delayed or unavailable, so it is important to plan ahead. Cross-train employees and provide several alternative forms of communication and work locations, including home, off-site offices and other alternatives. Make sure employees understand how to put the plans into use after an emergency.

Practice the Plan: Disaster recovery should be practiced from time to time. Have a written plan of communication and then actually take the time to implement it on a practice basis from time to time. Allow employees to work from home or other alternative locations, perform duties for which they have been cross-trained, and access information stored off-site.