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Something that is rarely ever mentioned but should be discussed in the business world is how to protect your business from natural disasters.  We never know when 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. 

What can we do to protect your business from natural disasters?

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 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 can be one of your team members or another employee.  Another thing to do is to 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 minds 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 would need to be contacted in the case of an 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 has 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 the 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.

Perform A Risk Assessment Of Your Company

On the basis of the location and functionality of your business, you could be facing several risks. It is time to prioritize and plan for each accordingly. For example, in California, it is serious to have a plan in the case of an earthquake. If you work with inflammable materials, it will be essential for you to have a plan in case of a fire or explosion and many associations can now include cyber attacks in their emergency preparedness plans.

Secure Your Assets

Review your insurance coverage to ensure that you understand what is covered in case of an emergency and evaluate whether you will require extra coverage on the basis of your risk assessment. Moreover, you should generate and maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date inventory of items and equipment and secure the inventory files off-site. Instituting daily backup procedures for the data and the critical software can assist you to maintain access to important files in case of natural disasters.

Protect Your Employees

The most important point of protecting your business from natural disasters is to protect your employees.  The protection of human life is the upper priority for any disaster response. You will have to create an emergency evacuation plan and then devise a way to account for each of your employees at the time of an emergency. Moreover, you should consider implementing a system that will warn employees not to come to work under hazardous conditions. As you have generates your plan and have clearly communicated it to your employees, you should conduct daily drills in order to make sure that your plan works and that everyone understands it. Remember to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Final Thoughts

We never want to think about any type of natural disaster 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 have your contingency plan in place will help ease the stress a little bit. Above all else, ensure your and your employees’ safety and then work on getting your business back to a sense of normalcy. If you want to find out how 5 Star processing can help you protect your merchant account, please give us a call today at 888-253-9692 or [email protected]  


 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q 1: What is a business disaster?

The Business disaster is something that can range from massive incidents that influence entre regions like civil disorders, natural disasters, and difficulties particular to the business.

Q 2: How can we protect from natural disasters?

Stay informed, have a plan for an evacuation, keep emergency kits on hand, and finally, go to the safest area in your home.

Q 3: How can a business prepare for a disaster?

A business can be prepared for a disaster by focusing on prevention, setting up an evacuation plan, keeping an updated list of emergency contact numbers, understanding its insurance coverage, and so on.