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Planning for Disasters – The Uncontrollable Threat

Planning for Disasters – The Uncontrollable Threat

Having full control of every aspect of life is not possible. You may have full control over your business, but there are outside threats looming over your head that will strike without warning. Emergencies are disruptions that could harm your business if you don’t take the proper precautions. Some are inevitable, but most can be prevented. It’s always a good idea to prepare.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Emergencies come in many shapes and sizes. When emergencies occur, you need to have a plan in place to reduce damage and have a better chance of reopening after the disaster is over. It is estimated that 25% of businesses don’t open again after a major emergency.

The worst that could happen is your business never recovering after an emergency hits, but other obstacles are just as dangerous to a business. Your business could experience lost or delayed sales or income, additional expenses that you didn’t plan on, dissatisfied customers, or even insufficient cash flow to cover expenses.

Natural disasters are unpredictable and can have more severe effects on businesses. Supply chains can be disrupted, communication barriers can occur due to panic, damaged equipment and buildings can be unexpected losses and expenses, plus, you could also lose personnel AND clientele.

Not having precautions or a set plan in place could lead to data loss, business interruption, loss of clients, and an expensive recovery. There could also be consequences to your business operations, finances, and to your reputation.

Expecting the Best – Preparing for the Worst

Focusing on prevention is the best way to avoid complications during an emergency. Here are some tips to ensure that your business has a better chance of standing up in the face of catastrophe.

 You can prevent disasters by conducting regular audits and system checks of your fire prevention and safety systems. You could also asses your risks and the potential business impacts to determine how to be most effective when disaster planning.

Not all emergencies are preventable, so establishing an evacuation plan is a must. To establish an evacuation plan for employees, you need to designate primary and secondary routes to exit the building safely.

In the event of an evacuation, an emergency contact list should be kept and updated regularly. There should be a copy offsite to better access in case of emergency. Contacts should include:

  • Employees
  • Emergency contacts
  • Emergency personnel
  • Disaster relief agencies
  • Customer information
  • Suppliers Information
  • Distributors information

Being prepared is one of the best ways to combat disasters. Preparing an emergency kit is always smart. Items that should be included are first aid kits, flashlights, a battery powered radio, a tool kit, extra batteries, nonperishable food, and bottled water. This kit should be easily accessible in the time of an emergency.

Not every important document can be copied and stored offsite. To protect vital business records a safe is a great investment. To better protect your records, be sure that the safe has been tested and listed by Underwriters Laboratories as being resistant to fire, heat, burglary tools and torches to ensure your business documents and records are safe.

To save your business from failure, back up programs and critical data. These backups should be kept in a location separate from your primary facility.

Other great tips include knowing your risks and preparing, understanding your insurance coverage, and keeping your insurance information, contact names, and contact numbers in a safe place.


Other useful information about planning for disasters can be found at these websites.