Fire, Flood, Earthquake, Tornado
Here are of the brutal facts about business and disaster:
- According to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year.
- United States Small Business Administration statistics indicate that over 90 percent of businesses fail within two years after being struck by a disaster.
- Many people have the a common misconception that insurance and aid from government agencies will allow businesses to pick up the pieces after a disaster.
In fact, many types of disasters are not covered under normal insurance policies and aid from government agencies may be too little, too late.
With all the recent disasters, emergency preparedness is a hot topic. Seminars and forums by cities and civic groups are fine, BUT they usually focus on the immediate dangers of a disaster and not on long-term business survival. Yes, immediate response to a disaster is vital, but long-term business survival is almost as important.
How Businesses Can Survive a Disaster
Business owners must take steps to prepare for emergencies in order to keep their organization going. What would YOU do to keep your business going?
You Need to Have a plan
- Speak with your insurance company
- Make sure that you have COMPLETE coverage for any possible disaster
- Include business interruption and business overhead coverages to keep cash flowing
- Keep in close contact with local public officials and other resources
- Find out what federal government advice and help is available https://www.fema.gov/preparedness-checklists-toolkit
- Get on the “A” list for transportation and facilities for moving should there be enough time to do so
- Maintain relations with fire and police to protect your property and people
- Make sure that your employees have an evacuation or shelter plan for themselves and their families
- Their safety is number one and they should know that
- Make that they have a “go-back” with their own information with them
- All key staff – sales, finance and customer service people – should have Smart Phones and their numbers should be on file in several places (more on this later)
- Business records need to be protected
- Have your data backed up offsite regularly – including key staff having laptops and backup Information – so they can keep customers from moving on
- Have on – or more – places where you could move and store computers, inventories, products, movable equipment and other critical business assets
- If you are a manufacturer, find a place to move current machinery OR know where you could rent or buy new equipment so production would only be temporarily down
- Bring suppliers in on your plans – and have them know what they can do to help. Find out about their disaster recovery plans. Identify secondary and tertiary suppliers in other areas.
- Customer Communication
- Let customers know that you have a plan and that you will NOT be “out of business” for any extended name
- Consider having your telecommunications handled a Managed Cloud VOIP organization so that there is NO loss of communication with customers and calls that would normally come into your firm could be automatically distributed to the appropriate people with NO delays
- Keep the plan – and ALL information – updated REGULARLY
- Updating the plan includes reviewing with your staff and the resources mentioned earlier
- Make sure that you go over all changes as they happen
At Loquantur, we are committed to helping businesses leverage the custom solutions available from cloud VOIP. As a Managed Cloud VOIP services provider, we set up, manage and protect your communications environment so you can focus on growing your business. We are experts in providing flexible communications to mitigate disaster issues.