Friday, September 11, 2009

Disaster Preps for Business

Here's a quick list of the things you need to consider in order to ensure the continuity of your business, whether it is impacted by an earthquake, hurricane, pandemic flu outbreak, or other disaster:
  1. Does your business have a disaster plan? Will it work for moderate short term disasters such as a flood or earthquake as well as a longer term pan flu outbreaks? Make sure it does.
  2. What are your core business activities? What is it that your business must do in order to survive. How will you provide these core services after a disaster?
  3. Determine how your business will function without essential services such as power, water, and sanitation. Identify back-up solutions to these services so that your business can continue to function.
  4. Cross train your employees. If only one employee in your organization can do payroll and that person ends up with the pandemic flu, in a coma in the hospital, or worse, dead, then nobody gets paid. That's not good for business. Make sure your staff can cover two or three positions instead of just their own.
  5. Determine what your operations requirements are and devise back-up solutions for these. How will you continue to receive inventory after a disaster? What items must your business have in order to continue to function (such as food for a restaurant, roofing materials if you are a roofer, etc)?
  6. Devise alternate work sites. If your office building is damaged in a hurricane, where will you and your staff work. If your sporting goods store is destroyed by fire, where can you temporarily move your business to until your own place is rebuilt? Do you provide a service that your employees could do from home?
  7. Develop processes that could be done online or via phone. Can meetings be held via Skype? Can payroll be done online? Can your counseling services be provided to clients over the phone if needed?
  8. Are your employees informed? Do they know the fire escape plan? How to reach you after a disaster? What their critical functions are during a disaster? How to protect themselves from the flu?
  9. Have your employee policies been revised recently. What kind of sick leave and family leave policies does your business have? What are contingency plans for employees who will be out with a long term illness or injury? Would your employees come to work with the flu or TB or Hepatitis because they need the money more than they feel the need to protect the public and their co-workers? What are your policies in regards to this?
  10. Do you have a media plan? How will you inform the public that you are still open for business? How will you handle the media blitz brought on by a photogenic disaster that levels your business?

1 comment:

  1. A major problem with my business is that it is 99% an online business. So if the power goes out etc and etc there will be little income.

    However, I do carry quite a stock of inventory that would be very valuable should the SHTF in a longer term situation.