Is your business ready for the next “disaster”?

As we recover from last weeks extensive power outage, now is the time to think about planning for the next time your business is “interrupted” as a result of a power outage or some other unexpected occurrence.

Last weeks experience took me back to the night I received a phone call from the Harbor Master in Bar Harbor to inform me that my boat was on the rocks and it was only a matter of time before she would become firewood.  That boat was my livelihood when I operated a tour boat business.  That night she broke off her mooring during a storm and landed on an island.  Fortunately, due to many good Samaritans, she was recovered.  Over the course of the next month she was restored and returned to the water and I was back in business.

But, during that time, I lost business.  Lots of business.  Repair bills mounted up.  Rumors circulated around town that we were done for the season.  Eventually, we recovered but that experience taught me to not take anything for granted and to prepare for the unexpected.

Often when we hear the term “disaster preparedness” we think of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or some other wide spread weather related event.   Last week we were reminded that a “disaster” means anything that impacts or impedes your ability to run your business, including a power outage or an unexpected call in the night that something has happened to your business.

So, now is the time to prepare for the next time your business is impacted and interrupted…

Here are 5 things to consider:

  1. Ask what CAN’T you afford to lose and have a back-up plan for…
  • Refrigeration/heat/cooling
  • Internet access
  • Important records/papers:  Make copies and store them off site!
  1.  Assess your communications plan:  Know how best to reach key people (phone, email, social media) and  keep copies of their contact information in a place you can access in the event you can’t get to your business location.
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Vendors
  1.  Consider business interruption insurance:  Replaces lost revenues if you can not operate your business.
  2.  Establish a “recovery fund”:  Even if you are insured, it’s important to have quick access to cash in the event of  an emergency.
  3.  Write up a disaster preparedness and recovery plan and share/discuss  your plan with employees

Here are a few great resources to help:

Ready.gov

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

SBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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