One cannot deny how difficult it is for businesses to fully recover after being impacted by natural catastrophes. Did you know that one-third of disaster-affected businesses never reopen? And even if they did survive the disaster, they can even take weeks, months, and potentially even years to get back up and running again. Hence, it is critical for you to build a natural disaster preparedness plan and ensure your business can bounce back quickly even if an incident happened. Hence, here are ways you can prepare your business for natural disasters.
What Are the Natural Disasters that Can Affect Your Business?
Every location has a different natural disaster risk, hence you need to know which disasters are more likely to affect your area. For instance, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming are known to have the most hailstorms. While California is more susceptible to earthquakes, fires, flooding, and mudslides. Thus, research on the likelihood of each type of natural disaster that could affect your business. Here is a tip. Check with your emergency management office or representative in your city for more information on this issue.
Create a Detailed Emergency Response Plan
Contrary to popular belief, an emergency operation plan goes beyond the immediate response to a natural disaster. This means that you should not just be thinking about how your employees can safely exit your business building during the emergency, or if you have sufficient emergency kits in the building.
Instead, you need to think about who will be leading during this situation. How will responsibilities be delegated to your employees, both on- and off-site? In addition, your business is unlikely to operate on a physical site due to a natural disaster. Hence, how will it operate in the compromised physical site? Would you go for a remote work option, or wait for your physical site to be repaired? How would you communicate with your clients or customers then? And what kind of message will you use to keep everyone informed about your business?
Clearly, there are many aspects to a detailed emergency response plan. And it can vary from one business to another, hence you need to adapt your emergency operation plan to suit your business. In addition, get feedback from your team members and review the plan with them. This ensures that your plan is all-inclusive, and everyone fully understands every part of the plan.
Back Up Your Documents and Data
Can you imagine if you were to lose all your essential documents? That is what happens if you do not prepare your business for natural disasters. And as a result, your business can suffer from catastrophic losses. Hence, additional copies of critical documents should be made, while the originals should be stored in a secure offsite location. In addition, try to scan and save important documents, or save the electronic files on an external drive that you can keep offsite or use a cloud-based solution. One way that you can encourage your employees to do the same is to add a policy to frequently scan important documents, and to back up the data daily.