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Flirting With Disaster | Tips on how your business can prepare

The 2011 hurricane season may already be underway, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to prepare. And with the recent storms that brought devastating floods and tornadoes to much of the southern and mid-western states, it’s important for your business to be prepared for any disaster. Natural disasters can put you and your employees’ safety at risk, as well as jeopardizing your business’ assets or causing your small business to shut down completely. Thankfully, by taking the precautions listed below, you and your small business can be better prepared in case disaster strikes. Updated Disaster Plan Much like having an emergency plan for the home to protect your family, your business should also have an updated plan of action in case of an emergency. This includes having a designated employee evacuation plan as well as good two-way communication during and after a disaster. A good tip is to set up a telephone calling tree or call-in voice recording so you can stay in touch with employees during and after the disaster. Data Storage Solutions Where is your sensitive business data stored? Does it live on a hard drive or server and is potentially susceptible to wind, water or fire damage during a storm? The best solution for keeping your data safe is by storing it in the cloud. Cloud computing has come a long way, and will insure your data is safe from any malicious weather Mother Nature doles out. Another good idea is to have multiple back-ups. If there’s an off chance one data location is damaged, you’ll have another copy elsewhere that can be restored. At the very least, keep all sensitive data and important records in a fire/water-proof storage container. Have an Emergency Kit Many businesses realize that they should have a readily available emergency kit, but often overlook the survival basics: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. As a business owner, you should not only prepare an emergency kit for the office, but also encourage each employee to create their own kit customized to meet their individual needs. For example, an employee may be diabetic, so he or she should have an emergency kit with the proper medication. Here are a few items that should be in every emergency kit:
  • Weather Radio – preferably one that operates via hand crank
  • Extra Batteries
  • Water – if possible, one gallon per person per day
  • Food – minimum of a three-day supply
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle – great for signaling for help
  • Blankets
Disasters can strike at any time, and it’s important for your business to be prepared. By doing a bit of prep-work and planning, you’ll improve your company’s chance of survival and help ease the recovery process. Have more tips on how your business can prepare for an emergency? Share them in the comments below.