Natural disasters are unpredictable, but they’re not impossible to prepare for. Although they can deal serious damage to your business, proper planning and preparation will mitigate risks and help you get back on your feet quicker. Here are some steps you should take to protect your business in the event of a natural disaster:
Backup your data
Backing up your important data, whether physical or digital, is one of the most valuable things you can do to prepare your business for circumstances beyond your control. For paperwork, store them safely in durable containers and make copies with proper labels from them to be organized in an off-site location. Examples of such paperwork are insurance claims, tax forms, and payroll information.
For digital data, it’s best to back up your data to the Cloud. You can even digitize physical paperwork to be backed up to the Cloud, as well. There are plenty of reputable and reliable companies that you can work with that offer corporate data backup services. What makes it a dependable solution is that your data can be accessed remotely, as long as you have an internet connection.
Perform a risk assessment
The location of your business could make you more susceptible to certain kinds of natural disasters. You should assess properly what kinds of disasters are more common in your area, such as floods and earthquakes. Take note of other disasters that could happen anywhere, such as fires or major power outages, as well. Once you identify these, you need to identify your assets (servers, paperwork, books, photos, etc.) and see how to best protect them from these threats. Your emergency plan should take these into consideration.
Create an emergency plan
Among the most important things that should be included in an emergency disaster response plan include an evacuation plan, emergency contact lists, designated meeting point, a thorough account of the vulnerabilities of each department and how to mitigate risk, and how to relay information about the preparedness plan to employees. It’s recommended that you draft different plans tailor-made to address different disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, or power outages.
Practice safety drills
At least one workplace safety drill should be performed every month, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This is necessary in order to simulate what would happen in the event of an emergency and get everyone acclimated with how to respond and act in the face of particular disasters.
Communicate clearly with employees and clients
There should be an agenda in place for keeping in contact with your employees and clients. Set up a communication plan that details how communication will be maintained with clients and customers after a disaster. You should be able to do a wellness check on your employees and clients, as well as provide your clients with information on the impact of the natural disaster on your business and how to contact you for questions.
Disaster can strike at any time, so you need to be prepared. It’s better to be safe than sorry.