When Disaster Strikes

May 21, 2018

 

When disasters strike entire cities and local economies are destroyed. An estimated 25 percent of businesses close permanently after a natural disaster, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, mostly because they’re just too vulnerable.

 

Most small businesses can’t handle this kind of financial hit. Smart business owners should look at the current detrimental effects from the devastating Louisiana floods of 2016.  

 

FEMA advises to develop a business continuity plan beforehand.

 

According to one study, the major reason why small businesses don’t reopen after a disaster is due to the lack of a disaster-recovery plan. Researchers found that 43 percent of small businesses have no plan whatsoever and of those who do, 90 percent spend less than one day a month to update and fine tune those plans.

The resulting chaotic scenario after a disaster can be tough for effective planning and action. That is why it’s essential to prepare for emergencies beforehand. First, meet with your insurance carriers to review all policies. Then, identify the responsibilities of each key personnel during disasters. Who will be responsible for communicating updates with customers, documenting all of your business practices, structures, and personnel and have an emergency list (wallet size if possible) on hand of everyone on and off site involved in responding to an emergency and suppliers?

Download and save a blank electronic copy of each business continuity plan, which can help you minimize downtime and provide recovery information.

 

Check List:

 

An emergency plan should also include building and site maps that indicate:

 

  • Utility shutoffs

  • Water hydrants

  • Water main valves

  • Water lines

  • Gas main valves

  • Gas lines

  • Electrical cutoffs

  • Storm drains

  • Sewer lines

  • Location of each building (include name of building, street name and number)

  • Floor plans

  • Alarm and enunciators

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Exits

  • Stairways

  • Designated escape routes

  • Restricted areas

  • Hazardous materials (including cleaning supplies and chemicals)

  • Value items

 

Make sure you have an asset management system is in place. If your business is going to weather the storm, you’re going to need an asset tracking system to know what goods you have on hand. At the end of the day, poor inventory management is still one of the major reasons small businesses fail, whether or not the result is from a natural disaster. Don’t be caught relying on Excel during these crucial times, which can end up costing you more money and a lot of frustration when your inventory is scattered or even destroyed. To prevent yourself the headache later on, also consider using a systematic process that includes labels and preferably RFID (radio frequency identification) labels to identify missing, damaged or misplaced assets more quickly and efficiently.

 

Make sure you’re able to recover all deleted or lost files. Regularly back up all of your business records so that you can quickly get back on track. Make sure all of your backups are in secure off-site locations. You should also have a backup generator in case the disaster wipes out electricity.

 

No one can predict the threat of a natural disaster, but in the event that something does occur, make sure your business is prepared for emergencies and has enough resources to ride out the storm. The three critical factors above have the ability to save your business, so spend some time to safeguard and protect your business.

 

No one can predict the threat of a natural disaster, but in the event that something does occur, make sure your business is prepared for emergencies and has enough resources to ride out the storm. The three critical factors above have the ability to save your business, so spend some time to safeguard and protect your business.

 

Advanced Imaging Solutions offers document scanning services to help you quickly attain your goals. 

 

For a free consultation please contact:   kathrynsmith@advancedimagingsolutions.com

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Email: kathrynsmith@advancedimagingsolutions.com

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