Could You Maintain Business Continuity During a Disaster?

Planning for a disaster can sometimes elicit feelings of discomfort, but it’s a vital tool for businesses.  Though it may be easier to adopt the “It won’t happen to us” view, sticking your head in the sand won’t allow you to maintain business continuity or keep your employees safe, should disaster strike. 

Whether it is natural occurrences, such as earthquakes, hurricanes or fires; human-caused, such as transportation strikes, riots or acts of terrorism; or technology-related, such as computer viruses or a shutdown of the power grid, sometimes one event can quickly snowball and cause more damage, as was the case in Japan in 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown of nuclear reactors.

Disasters are often unexpected and how well a company deals with post-disaster recovery is pivotal to its survival.  According to estimates by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, 25 percent of companies are unable to resume operations after a major disaster.

The type and severity of the disaster deeply influences what your business needs to do to maintain its continuity.  Optimally, you would like to cause little disruption or inconvenience to clients and customers.  Business Continuity Plans (BCP) explain in detail how employees will communicate with one another and keep doing their jobs in the event of a disaster or emergency. 

Your business’s continuity and disaster recovery plan needs to inform employees of the proper evacuation routes and emergency phone numbers, as well as what to do and where to go in case of an emergency.  After you have drawn up a solid plan, it is important to review it with everyone involved on a regular basis and to update it as necessary.  

It’s also a good idea to assemble a Disaster Survival Kit.  For ideas, read this helpful Disaster Kit Supply Checklist.

Allen Baler of Food4Patriots sums it up when he says, “With incidents of extreme weather increasing each year, our country’s deteriorating electrical infrastructure showing its vulnerability, and with the threats of sabotage and terrorism, it has become more and more obvious to many people that they need to be prepared for a very uncertain future.  The disaster prep industry is important because it responds to the legitimate concerns of people who want to survive emergency situations.”

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