Disasters usually come from nowhere, and as you do not have advance warning of that you do not have enough time to make yourself ready to handle it. It could be a workplace accident, an economic crisis or a severe storm; a disaster place should be in place to make your business survive. Flexibility is also a way but preparation is necessary.
According to FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, about 40% of small businesses fail to reopen when disaster comes. For your business survival, you need to prepare a disaster recovery plan, which is well known, thorough and accessible during the crisis. Some of the tips in relevance to a storm are discussed here:
Have a solid communication plan
During an emergency, communication is important. You need to be able to contact your employees and tell them what is happening and how to handle the situation. So an advance plan is important to make. This might be having “800” number to call for instructions.
If the internet connectivity or phone lines cut down, you should have other ways to communicate with employees. Try keeping short-range devices i.e. walkies-talkies.
Protect your assets
Protecting your assets is also a very important task to do. This can be done by purchasing insurance, either taking advantage of public programs such as National Flood Insurance Program by FEMA or relying on any private insurance, it is necessary to prepare for your financial recovery.
All assets are not necessarily physical. Even a very simple thing like power outage could also damage your building security and important data. Create a plan that is not only for solutions that are located on premise.
Decide when to stay open or close
Establishing a formula can help you to determine what could be the best action. Some of the situations are so obvious like active shooter situation or widespread disaster, in such cases, the decisions would be to close.
Though, if you plan in advance, there might be some situations when you can remain open during emergencies or relocate to an alternative and safe location. So you should prepare and understand what intensity of risk your company can handle.
Plan for helping others
The chance for your business to survive is still there even during a disaster, and you can help others too if you plan accordingly. Taking advantage of the victims is never permissible, but benevolent actions can have a positive impact in such times.
Give your time to little things
It is also very important to plan for the worst, but sometimes very little things can also spell disaster. Things like local school emergencies, power outages, or ISP router failure can be devastating to businesses.
To mitigate their impact or avoid such situations, consider how would they affect if they occur, what could be the possible disaster, and what can be the best way to create a “plan B’s”.
Practice your plan
Creating a plan is important at first, but practicing that plan is also important. In this way, you can make sure that in case of emergency, everything will run according to the plan.
Practicing requires resources and technology to activate your plan without disturbing the whole business.