Ways to Get Back to Business Quickly After a Disaster

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that over 40 percent of businesses affected by a disaster do not reopen. Whether your business faces a natural, technological or human-caused disaster, you can get back to business quickly in several ways.

Anticipate Disasters

Of course, you cannot always predict disasters, but you can anticipate them. Consider this list of common disasters your business could face.

1. Natural disasters

  • Floods

  • Earthquakes

  • Hurricanes

  • Tornadoes

  • Widespread illnesses or pandemics

2. Technology-related disasters

  • Computer failure or malfunction

  • Software malfunction

  • Data breach

  • Cyber attack

3. Human-caused disasters

  • Accidents

  • Intentional acts such as theft or fraud

  • Acts of violence

  • Terroristic acts

Access Your Business Contingency Plan

After creating a list of disasters that could affect your business, you’re ready to create a business contingency plan. It’s part of your emergency preparedness strategy. This backup plan outlines the steps you’ll take if you ever face a disaster, and it will address:

  • Business continuity

  • Emergency response

  • Crisis communications

  • Information technology

  • Incident management

  • Employee assistance

Some of the questions this document answers include:

  • Who is the go-to contact?

  • How will we accept, fill and track orders?

  • What alternatives are available if our vendors are non-operational?

  • What’s the best way to secure data?

Examine your business contingency plan today and make sure it addresses all your needs. With it, your business can regroup quickly after a disaster strikes.

Purchase Insurance

You probably carry typical business insurance such as liability, property and employee coverage. Read these policies carefully, and store copies of your insurance documents in a safe place where they are easily accessible any time.

If you see gaps in your coverage or notice that you don’t have coverage for certain disasters, purchase additional policies. An umbrella coverage or flood insurance are two examples of insurance products that protect your business. For more details on how to prepare insurance-wise for an emergency of any kind, talk to your insurance agent.

Seek Assistance

Several organizations are available to help your business rebuild after a disaster strikes.

1.The Small Business Administration - Apply for a low-rate, long-term loan through the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

2.Your bank - Talk to your banker about a low-cost loan or other financial assistance.

3. Insurance agent - File a claim and discuss your ongoing needs.

4. Community - Ask your community, including neighbors, clients and vendors, to help clean up, rebuild and return to business as usual.

When disaster strikes, your business must be prepared. These steps can help. If you don’t have these steps in place, consider implementing them today before a disaster strikes. One day, you may be very thankful you were prepared!
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