How to Protect Your Small Business From Disaster
As Hurricane Sandy approaches the Eastern Seaboard and threatens 50 Million Americans, Small Business are also in the storm’s path. The Small Business states that 40% of Small Businesses never re-open after a disaster.
It is challenging enough to build a business and heartbreaking to think that a successful business will fail due to lack of preparation for disaster. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Preparation Could Save the Lives of People, And Your Business
There are steps you can take to ensure your small business survives a hurricane, flood, tornado, electrical storm, earthquate, or any disaster.
Prepare Your Small Business to Survive Disaster
- Back up all data. Just about every business relies upon some level of digital data. Backing that data up could be the difference between resuming operations or having to close your doors after a disaster. Virtual back up can be set up to automatically back up your data and files to storage in the cloud. There are a number of solutions available that make virtual back up extremely affordable to small businesses, and individuals for that matter. SugarSync, Mozy are a few.
Get 5MB free storage here.
- If you must keep a safe on premises for the day’s cash receipts, credit card slips, etc. plan ahead on how you will secure and protect those documents in the event you must remove them from the safe during an evacuation.
- If it is imparative that your business operate in any weather, invest in an automatic generator which will automatically come on in the event of power loss and power your facility. If your business does not have proximity or access to natural gas, consider a portable generator fueled by gasoline or propane to keep vital equipment running.
- Invest $30-$40 in a NOAA radio to be alerted when hurricane, flood, tornado, coastline, electric storm, avalanche or winter storm watches and warnings are issued for your area whether the power is on, or off.
- Have an evacuation plan in place. Err on the side of caution when requiring staff and employees to travel to work. Implement virtual work capabilities whereever it makes sense, including access to virtual back-up and document storage, or even an intranet for your organization.
- Prepare a checklist of what needs to be done to secure your facility so tasks can be executed quickly.
- Heed all instructions from Federal, State, and local authorities. If they tell you to evacuate, do so. Your business is worth nothing to you if you do not survive the disaster. Buildings, computers and furniture can be replaced. YOU cannot be, so stay safe!
- Be prepared to let customers know how to reach you if you are forced to evacuate your primary place of business.
- When time permits, implement preventive methods related to the type of disaster, such as sandbagging, boarding windows, moving equipment, furniture and/or inventory to off-site storage at a higher elevation, an upper floor on premises in the event of a flood event, or a secure below-grade location in the event of a tornado.
- Remove any proprietary, confidential, intellectual property or high-value documentation from the premises to prevent exposure, access and removal from unauthorized parties during or after a disastaer.
- Make sure you have a protected copy of usernames and passwords to online assets in a safe in a separate location to improve speed to resuming access to software, online accounts and overall business operations.
Download the SBA Tips for more suggestions: Small Business Disaster Preparation.
Is there anything you would add?
Karner Blue Marketing uses virtual back-up services of, and has a business relationship with, SugarSync.