Disasters, both natural and human-made, are unpredictable. This is why you should start creating a disaster recovery plan for your business.
According to a survey, 52% of business owners say that it would take at least three months to recover from a natural disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), claims that 40% of small business won’t reopen after one.
Those are discouraging figures, but don’t panic! It is never too late to start creating your own disaster recovery plan unless you’re in the middle of a tornado. There are simple steps that you can take now for a safer future.
Get to know your area
What kind of disasters are common in your area? Consider fires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes or even security threats. Make a list of possible incidents, or take a look at the past disasters to get an idea of what could happen in your area. Be informed about what happens around your business at any time. This will help you be aware of what you need to protect the most when the time comes.
List important activities
What are the key activities that keep your business going? List the activities that are important to keep your business alive. Make the list from the highest to the lowest priority, and the employees that are in charge of these tasks. This will help you plan and assign responsibilities when a disaster happens.
Create a disaster recovery team
Get together a group of employees that will help you create the disaster recovery plan. They will also help you keep your business running during the recovery period.
Have people from different areas of your business. This will give you a broader perspective of what do you need to take care of. It will also help you know what could be the problems you encounter during a disaster.
Here is where a small business communication plan will be very useful. It will keep all the employees in the loop about what’s happening.
Make an inventory of equipment
Make a list of the items needed by your employees to perform their tasks, such as furniture or computers. Include on the list all the services that allow you to run your operations. How would you get them during a natural disaster? What would happen if you lose inventory?
Look for an alternative space
A physical office or business space can suffer significant damage during a disaster. You may not be able to use the space for days, weeks, or months! This is why you should have in mind other options for temporary space.
A very good option is a co-working space. They’ve become very popular in the last years, especially for startups. Another option is remote work from home, or in any other space that allows you to run your operations.
Get an insurance
If you don’t have one yet, get an insurance for your business as soon as possible. There are a lot of options you could try, so there’s no excuse not to get one.
And yes, investing in an insurance is a smart move, but, saving side money for any need you might have is also smart. Insurance might take a while to react to a disaster. Having your own money at the moment can help you put your business back in place faster.
Make it a habit to check on your plan
Make sure that your disaster recovery plan is always updated. Even more important, that your employees know what to do in case of a disaster. Having training or simulations of a possible incident will allow them to react fast and continue operations.
Know who can help you
Check this list of the agencies that have resources for emergencies. Make sure you know them and have their contact number ready. If you still have doubts about how to move on with your disaster recovery plan, these organizations will be able to help you.
Lastly, visit FEMA’s website for an in-detail guide on what to do after a natural disaster.