We see deadly tornadoes, severe flooding, unusually powerful storms that bring high winds and heavy rains, and a massive blizzards. Small business shutdowns were a common denominator for many of these disasters.
But it’s typically the random power outage or isolated burst pipe that causes costly business interruption. You can protect your assets, your employees and your clients by taking a few simple steps before disaster strikes:
- Determine your greatest risk potential. It might come from loss of heat, frozen pipes (that can burst, causing water damage), or loss of access caused by icy conditions or flooding. What would happen if you had to shut down your business for several days? Look at the building where you do business and assess the property damage risks. If you do this early enough, you’ll have time to make structural upgrades that can prevent possible future storm, wind or water damage.
- Establish your Power Needs. Have an electrician determine your power needs. Know what kind of back-up generator will work for you, but first find out if you have the landlord’s permission to bring in a generator.
- Create a communications plan. Establish an e-mail alert system to keep your employees and key stakeholders in the loop. Use phone, texting and social media to provide updates on your recovery process and to let everyone know you’re still in business. Make sure you can access your business website and social media accounts remotely or by mobile device so you can post your operating status.
- Prepare your supply chain. Develop relationships with alternative vendors, in case your primary contractor isn’t available. It’s also a good idea to find out if your key suppliers have a recovery plan in place. Create a contact list for important business contractors and vendors you plan to use in an emergency. Make sure you have enough insurance to recover. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your policy is adequate. Consider Business Interruption Insurance, which compensates you for lost income if you have to close your doors when disaster strikes.
- Protect your critical data in the Cloud. A good cloud backup provider (some are Dropbox for Business, Google Drive, MozyPro), routinely copies, compresses and encrypts your company’s vital information before sending it to a secure offsite data center. All your electronic records and invoices are safe and available, even if a disaster wipes out your own data center.
- Test the plan. Doing annual drills with your staff will show you what’s effective and where your preparedness plans need fine-tuning.
Need help planning for emergencies? Contact South Shore Generator in Wareham, MA.