Something that is rarely ever mentioned but should be discussed among the business world is how to protect your business from a natural disasters. We never know when a natural disasters will strike so it is imperative to always have a backup plan. One of the most important things as a business owner is to make sure your assets are covered and your customer data is protected at all costs. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure that you have everything in order so when and if your business is impacted.
Create a Business Backup Plan
Having a contingency plan in place will allow you a peace of mind and a call to action for when and if disaster strikes. This is something that should be well thought out and communicated with your team so the plan can flow effortlessly.
It’s always good to have a designated person to help facilitate the plan and be your eyes and ears on the ground should you not be close by. This canbe one of your team members or another employee. Another thing to do is have a plan in place for your supplier and customer who may be impacted by your business being closed. Making sure you have a line of communication that can quickly go out to your customers will help put your customer’s mind at ease.
It would be a good idea to check in with your vendors to see what protocols they have in place in any natural disaster event so you will know the proper steps to take when needed. This is also part of your crisis communication plan. Knowing what vendors, suppliers, and other business partners that would need to be contacted in the case of emergency will be important to help make things run smoothly in your backup plan.
Protect Vital Records
Another important factor to consider is your vital records. This can be your insurance policies, bank account information, merchant account information and anything else that would be pertinent to your business. Having these documents secured offsite or cloud based would be a good idea so in the case your personal property is destroyed you still have a way to access these things.
It is a good idea to take inventory and evaluate what items really need to be protected in your business. This will not only help you have a better grasp of the valuation of your assets, but it will help you when you start communicating with banks, insurance agents, and your merchant processor.
Make sure to get in touch with your bank representative, merchant processor, and insurance agent to find out their protocols on how to navigate next steps. This would also be a good time to understand what coverages you have in place with each institution so you can better understand expectations.
When speaking to your insurance agent make sure to have them go over your coverages and make sure the coverages will be enough for any peril. When you speak to your merchant processor ask them how to better secure your merchant account and help you get back online quicker. Thinking ahead will save you time and stress in the long run.
We never want to think that about any type of natural disasters happening to us, however considering recent events like the California wildfires, or Hurricane Ida it would be remiss to think it couldn’t happen to anyone else. We understand that emotions and stress levels can run high during times of crisis and having your contingency plan in place will help ease the stress a little bit. Above all else, ensure yours and your employees’ safety and then work on getting your business back to a sense of normalcy.