5 Tips For Your Hurricane Business Continuity Plan
Determine your greatest risk potential – It might come from wind damage or inland flooding that typically follows a tropical storm’s heavy rains. Your business could suffer financial losses due to road and bridge closings in the aftermath of a hurricane. Power outages are a major threat, especially to businesses in the food and hospitality industries. What would happen if you had to shut down your business for several days? Look at the building where you do business – inside and out – and assess the risks. If you have time to do structural upgrades, now is the time to prevent possible future storm damage.
Calculate the cost of business interruptions – For one week, one month and six months. Have a cash reserve that will allow your company to function during the post-disaster recovery phase. It’s also a good idea to develop professional relationships with alternative vendors, in case your primary contractor can’t service your needs.
Review your insurance coverage – Contact your agent to find out if your policy is adequate for your needs. Consult with a business insurance expert to advise you on the right coverage for your situation. When buying insurance, ask “How much can I afford to lose?” It’s a good idea to know the value of your property. Floods are the leading cause of natural disaster losses in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and many property insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.
Build a crisis communications plan – You’ll be able to make sure your employees, customers, vendors, and contractors know what’s going on. Establish an e-mail alert strategy. Make sure you have primary and secondary email addresses for your employees, and everyone you do business with. Create a social media strategy to keep the public aware you’re still in business and in the process of recovering after the disaster. If your business cannot survive or customer demand is too great, consider moving to a virtual or cloud-based strategy as part of a short or long term business plan.
Consider a virtual employee policy – Prepare for the possibility that employees won’t be able to get to work by developing an emergency virtual employee policy. Virtual or cloud based resources are easily deployed and accessible by your staff from virtually anywhere.
In addition to these business continuity tips, we have also included this link to the small business administrations Business Preparedness In A Hurricane check list. Hurricanes generate a series of threats to lives and property. The most obvious is the threat posed to buildings, equipment, and people by the high winds which characterize such storms. This checklist will help you prepare for a hurricane’s effect on your business, employees and community by highlighting activities you should undertake before, during, and following the event. When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center issues a watch or warning, use the time available to begin taking the following steps.
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