Planning business disaster recovery to protect your business’s bottom line from natural disasters is not a simple task. A business impact analysis should develop to find out the solutions to protect the business from natural disaster. Large enterprises are always looking for a risk manager or consultants with expertise in the area of disaster recovery and planning to solve these issues. Small or medium size businesses need to do with their own.
Here are few steps to develop a disaster recovery plan for small businesses:
Structure an emergency response plan and train the staff on it- Ensure staffs have the knowledge ‘how to handle the situation, and to whom they should inform the disaster in an emergency case’.
Make clear and simple plans for your staff- Each and every step should be written with a plan, which should be notified to the staff in a very simple and clear language. This practice may be done with regular emergency response plans.
Make a list of important contact numbers and addresses- Ensure you have a contact or address list of the important people to whom you have to inform after the disaster. The list should consist of local and state emergency management agencies, main clients, contractors, suppliers, realtors, financial institutions, insurance agents and insurance company claim representatives.
A strong communication strategy- Decide a communication strategy, which should maintain the long term partnership with your clients. Display notices outside the company; contact clients by phone, regular mail and place a notice in local newspapers.
Things to be considered at initial level of an emergency- Think about, are the backups required? Is it necessary to have a backup communication system? Do you need a back-up source of power?
Human Resources – Secure your staff and clients from injury in the company campus. Think about the necessary impact a disaster will have on your staff’s ability to come back to work and how clients can turn back to your product or services.
Physical Resources- Look carefully in your business’ plant and assess the impact a disaster would have on facilities. Ensure your plans comply with local building code requirements.
Business Community-Although, your business runs away from a disaster, there is still a risk that it could suffer important losses due to the insufficient suppliers to deliver products or services or a minimization in clients. Businesses should always in contact with their suppliers and markets, especially if they are selling to a business as a supplier, about their disaster willingness and recovery plans, to make everyone alert.
Protect Your Building- If you possess the structure that houses your business, integrate disaster protection for the building and the elements in your plan. Look at the financial impact if your business gets close down because of a disaster. What would be the impact for a period of time, a week or a complete revenue period?
Maintain Duplicate Records- Maintain all the Back-up data files regularly, and store them on the cloud or software as a service, so that the copies of important records and documents remain in safe side and ensure it regularly.
Examine critical business activities and its required resources- If you are not able to shut down your operations due to some financial issues, even temporarily, identify what are the basic resources needed to continue the business at another place.
Look for alternative facilities, equipment and supplies, and locate qualified contractors- Think about a reciprocity with another business. If possible, try to get a prior engagement from at least one contractor to response on your needs.
Secure computer systems and data- Data storage enterprises provide off-site backups of computer data that can be updated on a regular basis through a high-speed modem or the Internet.
Analyze Your Insurance Plan
Ensure you have sufficient insurance to pay for the indirect costs of the disaster, the interruption to your business, also the cost of repair or fixing. Most policy plans are not made to cover flood or earthquake damage and you may need to purchase separate coverage for the same. You also need to understand your policy conclusions and restrictions.
Again new upgrades or enhancements may also reflect your policy, which include construction, enhancement to a property and the upgrade of the new equipment.
As a business point of view, the cost of a disaster can enlarge beyond the physical damage to the land size, equipment, machinery, materials and other business property. There could be the potential loss of earnings. Your disaster recovery should consider an accurate analysis of your insurance policies to make sure there are no gaps in coverage. Your policy plans shouldt have business interruption insurance and extra expense insurance. Even if your basic policy covers expenses and loss of net business income, it may not cover income interruptions due to damage that occurs away from your premises, such as to your key customer or supplier or to your utility company. You can generally buy this additional coverage and add it to your existing policy.
Essentials for basic Insurance
Building Coverage- It gives coverage up to the secured value of the building if it is demolished or damaged by wind or hail, or another covered cause of loss. This policy does not consider damage generated by a flood or storm surge and losses due to earth shaking activities, like a landslide or earthquake, unless added by the agreement.
Business Personal Property- It gives insurance for contents and business stocks damaged or demolished by wind or hail, or another covered reasons of loss.
Renters Improvements- It gives coverage for attachments, updates, deployments, or upgrades made as part of the building that secure covers but does not own, which are obtained and made at the expense.
More in Property Insurance: – It gives coverage for items like fences, pools or awnings at the secured location. Insurance limits differ by type of added property.
Business Profit: – It gives insurance for lost revenue and normal managing expenses if the place of business becomes unfit to stay, after a loss during the time repairs are being completed.
Extra Investment: – It gives insurance for an extra investment obtained, like temporary relocation or leasing of business equipment, to reduce the suspension of operations during the time that repairs are being made to the normal place of business.
Law or Rule: – It gives insurance to reconstruct or fix the building in compliance with the most recent local building codes.