When disasters such as floods, fires, and storms strike your business, it can be a long road to recovery and reopening. As a business owner, it can be very helpful to anticipate events such as these and do everything you can to prepare in advance. Creating a disaster recovery plan can help your business get back on its feet more quickly after a disaster event. If you are wondering how to create a disaster recovery plan for your business, read on for a complete guide and everything you need to know, so you can be prepared when disaster strikes.
Distinguish Your Critical Jobs
The first part of your disaster recovery plan should involve how to get your business moving again. Start by making a list of the critical positions that you would need to get back up and running first. For example, if the disaster event didn’t damage your product, you may want to prioritize shipping roles. Customer service may be a necessity for some businesses to notify customers of the disaster and any inconveniences it will cause. If you work out of a retail location, you may be most concerned with the cleanup effort to get your doors open again. Plan for how you can get these positions working first, whether that involves relocating office jobs or prioritizing cleanup.
Have a Temporary Relocation Plan
In the event of a flood, severe storm, or another disaster that may leave your original building out of commission, have a space in mind for a temporary relocation. Contact your local real estate agent for any vacant office listings in your area that may be available for rent. If your business is part of a larger strip or building of offices, see if you could work out an agreement with a neighboring business to share each other’s spaces in the event of a disaster. If your employees have the capability to work from home, they could work remotely until your original location is restored.
Conduct a Business Impact Analysis
Before a disaster event strikes, your business should conduct a business impact analysis. This will help you understand how a potential emergency event will affect your business. Ask yourself what would happen to your business as a result of a disruption such as a flood, fire, major storm, or another natural disaster. Would your products be affected? What would your first order of business be afterward? The business impact analysis helps you plan for the worst in these cases and helps you determine what additional steps to recovery your business would need to take.
Back Up Important Information
In the event of a destructive disaster such as a fire, flood, or storm, your office space full of technology and computers would be at risk. Make sure that your business has a backup system in place on all its computers, especially for important information that would be difficult to recover. Nowadays, it is easier than ever to back up your data through cloud computing systems, and your various service providers may already offer a cloud service at no extra cost. Either way, it is important to consider ahead of time so you don’t lose your business’s critical data to a disaster event.
Make a List for Insurance
As a business owner, you should have disaster insurance in place, especially if your business is in an area that experiences extreme weather. Another precaution you should take is compiling a list of all the necessary equipment your business uses daily. Do this ahead of time rather than taking notes of what you are missing after the event so that you can receive insurance aid faster. Planning and taking inventory ahead of time can save you days of waiting and help your employees get the tools they need to get back to work faster.
Research a Restoration Company
Depending on the type of disaster, whether it’s a fire, flood, or another event, a restoration company may be able to help expedite your cleanup process. A fire or water mitigation company would be able to help minimize damages and losses, salvaging equipment and other materials. These services also help survey damages to the building’s structure and provide cleanup and restoration solutions. Aloha Restoration Co., for example, specializes in both flood and fire restoration. Look into restoration services in your area ahead of time to get your business cleaned up and back on track sooner.
Have Emergency Supplies on Hand
Every business, large or small, should have an emergency evacuation plan and emergency supplies on hand. Train employees for an emergency event so that they know where to take cover or how to evacuate for safety. Emergency supplies and knowing how to use them are also a must. For example, having a fire extinguisher on hand could save lives and prevent a small fire from spreading. You should stock adequate first aid kits for daily accidents, but they could become especially necessary during a disaster event as well. You may also want to consider an emergency backup generator or secondary source of power for these situations.
Test Your Plan
Testing your disaster plan is a crucial last step that you should never skip. Test your emergency evacuation plans, notification systems like fire alarms, and your data and power backup system if you have them. Regularly testing these systems is so important because it can alert you to any errors or issues in your planning or technology. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to fix these errors before the event of a real disaster. You will also have peace of mind knowing that everything is operational and you are fully prepared.
We hope this guide on how to create a disaster recovery plan for your business helps prepare you and your business for emergency events. As a business owner, you should always have a plan in place for emergencies, especially if your area is prone to events such as flooding, earthquakes, extreme weather, and more. Having an emergency plan prepared beforehand can be the difference between your business getting back to work in days versus weeks or even months after a disaster.