Preparing For The Worst: Disaster Planning For Business

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You never quite know what is around the next corner. If someone had have said a year ago that COVID-19 would be all anyone would be talking about in 2020, they’d have been met with bewilderment. But the notion that the coronavirus could spread across the globe so quickly and have such a huge knock-on impact on businesses on every continent was completely unexpected.  

Yet here we are. An expected disaster is taking its toll on the world and on almost every business in many different countries. 

It is obviously not possible to plan for every type of disaster, but there is certainly a very good reason to make sure our businesses are equipped to deal with challenges that may be foreseeable at least. 

So, how exactly can a business protect itself, and its employees by preparing for the worst?

Understand The Dangers 

Assessing the risks that your particular business might face is vital. If your business operates in an area that is prone to flooding, experiences earthquakes or is in a part of the world that is known for its hurricanes, then you should know that there is a sizable chance that you will have to contend with this type of challenge. It is therefore wise to plan for this eventuality as it is less a case of ‘if’ but more a case of ‘when’. 

Run through the plausibility of other potential threats too. Are you at risk of terrorism? Cybercrime? Burglary? 

Once you know the levels of risk, you can plan what you might do. 

Protect The Business Premises 

If you are based in an area where there is lots of flooding, you would look at fitting backflow preventers in your plumbing to stop sewage water coming back up into your premises. You could look at wet or dry waterproofing as well as creating barriers to stop water outside. 

In areas where the risk of earthquakes is high, it is worthwhile having a soft story retrofit contractor carrying out the necessary works to your companies buildings to ensure they can stand up to the seismic activity. 

Protect Employees 

Protecting your employees is more important than anything else. 

Having the right procedures in place for dealing with any challenge where there is a risk to the life of your employees is vital. 

Run drills on a regular basis where all of your team are evacuated from the premises. 

Any new starter needs full emergency training, and the whole team should have regular refresher training. 

Carry out risk assessments on every aspect of your business that ensures your employees are safeguarded from any danger in every way possible. 

Get The Right Level Of Insurance

In order to protect your business financially, you will need the right level of insurance. If there is a particular risk of certain things like earthquakes or severe weather, you will need to examine the level of cover for these areas. 

Having the right insurance could mean the difference between your business being able to trade again after a disaster and losing everything that you have worked for in a flash. 

Have Contingency Budgets

It really is difficult to know what might happen in the future, but having money in reserve is always going to be useful should you ever need to furlough your employees while remedial work is carried out to their workplace. 

It can be hard for businesses to keep that kind of money saved up and stored safely. However, it is always essential that you have some kind of financial failsafe in place for an emergency. 

Digitize Everything 

All of the essential documents that you may need such as insurance policies need to be accessible in the event of an emergency. If they are in a building that has just caught fire, then you will never see them again. 

The same goes for any piece of important paperwork relating to your business.

The more of your business paperwork you can digitize and store on the cloud, the better. 

Having much of your business accessible online from anywhere could mean that you will be able to trade even if you don’t have access to your physical workspace. 

Don’t Bury Your Head In The Sand

You might think that the worst will never happen to you. It might stop you from planning ahead for the worst-case scenarios. However, you cannot afford to do this. While living in continued fear and paranoia is not helpful, planning ahead for plausible disasters is. The more you can plan for this the better. 

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