If your business has ever been impacted by freeze events, devastating hurricanes, or tornados, you know that unexpected disasters come with zero to no warning. Even if your business has been unscathed by such events, disasters could strike when you least expect them. Anticipating the worst, in case the occasion ever does arise, is important as a business owner. Pre-loss planning prepares you for the unexpected. As a business owner, you know that losing even one day can severely impact your company and employees. In area-wide events, the first resources to be depleted are local. When these events occur, every business in your area that has been affected will be reaching out for help. Having a Pre-Loss Agreement with a local yet nationally backed company, such as ServiceMaster Recovery Management, means having these resources ready immediately following an event.
Essential Items to Include in Your Business Disaster Planning Checklist:
Know What Disasters Can Affect Your Area: Is your region prone to tornados? Do they have a fire season? Knowing what disasters you're most likely to face is the first step in creating a disaster response plan.
Create A Disaster Response Plan: Do routine security system audits, identify potential vulnerabilities, and plan disaster drills so all your personnel know what to do.
Have An Evacuation Plan: Plot out your evacuation routes. Keep emergency exit signs well-lit and marked. Designate safe outdoor meeting areas in case of a disaster where you and your personnel can be accounted for until first responders arrive.
Create An Emergency Kit: Assuming you could be without power or running water, have a kit on standby with a first aid kit, extra batteries, non-perishable food, and bottled water.
Establish A Communication Plan: Have an updated list of emergency personal numbers, your insurance information, processes to follow, and how employees will be updated during the disaster (phone, email, social); store them somewhere you can access them quickly.
Backup Important Documents and Data: Scan your most important business documents and records, and keep them on an external hard drive offsite at a different location or a cloud-based storage system.
Review Your Insurance Coverage: Review your insurance policy and know your deductibles and what you're covered for if a natural disaster damages your business.
A large part of Pre-Loss Planning is putting together a business continuity plan. A business continuity plan will prepare you and your employees for disasters. This plan involves creating preventative and recovery strategies and educating your organization on its processes. With a business continuity plan, you'll know how to operate until your building and everything inside are fully restored. Even if work cannot be done on-site, having a contingency plan will help you manage temporary situations.
Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan:
• Limit the severity of disruption to your business
• Prepare for working remotely if your office is severely damaged
• Expedite the restoration process
• Minimize any financial losses
• Avoid closing your doors permanently
• Equip employees and managers with the information and training they need to get their jobs done until everything is restored
A business owner it’s your responsibility to take into consideration the possibility of a disaster – a flood, fire, or any other severe weather – impacting your business. It’s vital to make sure you have a plan in place on how to proceed if one of these events were to occur. Being prepared ahead of time will help you to recover from a natural disaster faster. You can't control when or if natural disasters strike, but business disaster planning will minimize the harm it causes to your business if it does.
We are here to provide the peace of mind to protect your business. We'll help you determine the best plan of action you should take using the proper tools, resources, and planning. A rapid response is critical after a disaster. No matter how challenging the situation, we can assess your situation and immediately help you start to recover. With SRM, your business is in the best hands.