How To Deal With The Mess Following A Disaster

By Subodh / March 8, 2013

Are you a small business owner? If so, have you taken the time to create a Disaster Recovery Plan for your company?

We don’t like to think about it, but disasters can strike your business at any time. Earthquakes, floods, tornados, ice storms, hurricanes, fire—there a thousand different kinds of disasters that can damage your business throughout the year.

By creating a customized emergency response plan for your business, you can reduce disaster recovery times by a significant amount. In short, making sure that a disaster response plan is in place will ensure that your business’ recovery process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

In short, a Disaster Recovery Plan is a customized and detailed document that provides a thorough outline of how you will get your business up and running again in the face of any kind of disaster. Though each business has different needs, typically a Disaster Recovery Plan will include details such as:

  • How to communicate in a crisis
  • Which areas of your business are at highest risk
  • How you will continue operations in the event of a disaster (i.e., business continuity)
  • How to protect vital company resources
  • Policy and contact information for your business insurance provider
  • Who to call for disaster recovery services

Disaster Recovery

How to make a plan

As you are developing the plan, you will want to consider the layout and specific needs of your business. The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests the following procedure for developing a Disaster Recovery Plan:

  1. Planning: In this stage, you gather information about hazards and risks associated with your business. You should also assess the different ways you can prevent or reduce those hazards and risks.
  2. Implementation: Here you should develop the details of your preparedness plan. Consider all the various disaster scenarios, and then establish how to best deal with each situation. This should be as detailed as possible.
  3. Testing and Exercises: Once you’ve established a plan, you will want to test the different scenarios you have outlined. Run drills with your employees, and use the results of the exercises to evaluate the plan.
  4. Program Improvement: In the final stage, you will review and revise the Disaster Recovery Plan based on the results of the testing and exercises. This will help ensure that the plan is as finalized and thorough as possible if a real disaster does strike.

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan now—before a major disaster strikes—will save you a lot of time and money. When your business is forced to close as a result of a disaster, every minute counts. Depending on the size of your business, even a single day of closure can mean thousands of dollars in lost revenues. Closures that last more than a week can be devastating for a business, and may force you to shutter your doors permanently.

With a Disaster Recovery Plan in place, you can know that your business will recover and return to full operations as quickly as possible if a disaster does strike.