Putting Together a Disaster Plan
|Sharon Boyd has nearly 25 years of experience between both the healthcare and marketing industries. In addition to being an RDH and content writing expert, she also holds a degree in business. Her responsibilities primarily include tackling the communication barriers between small business owners or healthcare providers and their prospective clientele.|
Putting Together a Disaster Plan
When emergencies arise, the most important thing to do is to be prepared. Whether it’s knowing what to do, where to go, or who to contact, your business needs a plan so that you can take immediate action to keep everyone safe.
What’s involved when it comes to putting together a disaster plan for your business?
Map the Evacuation Route
Have clearly posted diagrams for the fastest route of evacuation throughout different areas of your building. Even if you’ve been there for years, an emergency could strike when there’s a new client or visitor. Everyone needs to know the quickest way to get out of the office.
Along the same lines, make sure that all emergency exits have appropriate lighted signage, and that everyone knows the location of your “shelter in place” area in the event of inclement weather.
Have a Safe Place for Business Records
A fireproof safe or cloud-based system makes it easier to back up your important data and save the information you’ll need to get back on the ground running. It’s best to have something off-site, in the instance there’s a natural disaster such as a flood or tornado.
Keep Contact Information on Hand
There should be a list of emergency phone numbers and next of kin for all staff, as well as a list of contacts for those responsible for operating your place of business. Even if you’re not at work, first responders may need to locate you.
Stock a First Aid and Emergency Kit
Have a supply of water, flashlights, extra batteries, radio, and any basic first aid supplies that you might need in the event of an emergency.
Check Your Insurance
It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 small businesses won’t re-open after being struck by a natural disaster. Even though the chances of one happening are small, it could change your livelihood. Talk to your insurance provider to find out if your business is protected so that you can get back up and running again as smoothly as possible.
Another piece of insurance to consider is how you’ll make payroll in the event of a disaster. Talk with your small-business insurance carrier and accountant to find out how you can be sure that your employees will be taken care of.
Don’t Forget Your Cybersecurity
One of the biggest threats against small businesses is data theft. So much so that the FCC has issued customizable cybersecurity plans and tip sheets to help business owners protect themselves, their clients, and the data they’re responsible for.
Document, Document, Document
Keep a written list and photographs of all equipment that your business owns. That way if something needs to be replaced by your insurance company, you have records of what has been destroyed. Consider keeping scans of your purchase orders/receipts in the cloud or at your off-site storage facility.
Just like your home emergency preparedness kit, your business model needs to cover all of the basics. A disaster plan is something you never want to use but everyone needs to have. FEMA also offers emergency preparedness information for businesses, HERE.