No doubt you (and everyone on your Facebook friends list) have already read The New Yorker article titled “The Really Big One,” in which the author lays out a very terrifying scenario about the near future of the Pacific Northwest – or the lack thereof, if our seismic history is to be believed. The underlying message of the piece is – and should be – that people can never be too prepared for a potential catastrophe. While we’ll probably never know when and where an massive earthquake will occur, taking steps to prepare your company in the event of seismic activity is your responsibility as a business owner.
Create an Emergency Survival Kit and Plan
The American Red Cross has a fantastic guide to creating a disaster survival kit, so we won’t take up any more space with that here. Equally as important is to create, implement, and practice your emergency plan in your office building. Meet regularly with your staff to go over different disaster scenarios and identify safe zones like doorways, stairwells, and other strong structural elements of your building to utilize in the event of a disaster.
Evacuation plans are of high importance, but assigning individuals to be in charge of taking attendance and ensuring everyone gets out of the building will help future search and rescue operations, if necessary. Keep this information up-to-date and available for all employees to reference at any time. FEMA’s Ready.gov website can help assess your emergency preparedness plan and ways to improve it.
Create a Business Continuity Plan
In the aftermath of a disaster, the priority is ensuring your employees are safe. As a business owner, your next step is to determine how long it will take to reinstate your services and get back to work. Identify which services you’ll implement first and the personnel, infrastructure, and equipment needed to make that happen. Other elements to consider: emergency payroll, expedited financial systems, and customer service protocols are just a few. You’ll also want to reach out to customers and clients in the event of a catastrophe or have systems in place to do so on your behalf if something happens to you.
Part of your continuity plan should be recovery and preservation of crucial customer and company data. As we’ve covered before, the cost of data loss to a company can be devastating, sometimes ruining businesses forever. As a basic principle, a company’s approach to data backups should be focused on both redundancy and ease of recovery. Having a local backup on-site as well as cloud and/or off-site backups (ideally in multiple geographic locations) should be implemented at the bare minimum.
Is your company prepared for a data disaster? If you’re unsure, you owe it to your business and your customers to make an appointment with the team at CMIT Solutions of Seattle right away.