What your business should do when disaster strikes

Is your company prepared for a disaster? The impact of unexpected natural crises can be catastrophic for SMBs. The Queensland 2011 floods saw over 30% of directly impacted businesses lose more than $100,000 as a result of the sudden disaster. While full results of the ongoing South East Queensland and New South Wales floods have not yet been surmised, it’s clear that all affected businesses will suffer.

So how do you prepare for the unexpected? There are several plans you can put in place to best protect your business assets and minimise losses before the worst happens.

It’s important that you ensure your company is prepared the next time disaster strikes.

Data backup and insurance

One of the most important steps when preparing for a disaster is backing up your data. Without this, you could lose everything that you have worked so hard to build and create. If an emergency strikes, you’ll want to know that your company’s data is safe and accessible.

In addition to backup services, you can also prepare your business with disaster recovery plans and insurance policies. Disasters have many forms and you can never be too prepared; a tiny percentage of companies worldwide had pandemic insurance before COVID-19 broke out in 2020. Now, insurance companies are swamped with pandemic cover requests.

By having a plan in place and assessing all risks, you will have peace of mind knowing your business is safe even during emergencies.

Creating a Business Continuity Plan

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) will help you identify the steps necessary to ensure your company's survival should disaster strike. Creating a plan is the first step to making sure your business is prepared in case of an emergency.

A BCP is a list of policies and procedures for your company to continue operating during and after an emergency. The plan should include details on how employees will contact each other, how they will report back on their progress, who should take charge during different phases, which critical resources need to be safeguarded, how external parties should be notified, and more.

The process begins by identifying the risks that could occur and how they might affect your company’s operations. By identifying these risks, you can create strategies for mitigating them. For example, if you have data that must be stored off-site, you need to find a way to ensure that this data is regularly backed up in case it becomes corrupted or lost due to an event like fire or flood.

You need to define the scope of the plan and identify its objectives, which will depend on your business needs. Identify what resources your business in order to recover from a disaster, including staff, supplies, and equipment. The plan should also list any external dependencies your business relies on for operations, such as utility providers or suppliers.

Lastly, your BCP should include procedures for how to communicate with staff and customers during disasters, how to maintain records, what to do if data gets lost or destroyed, and other contingencies that may arise, depending on the risks involved.

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Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a document that outlines the steps that need to be taken in order to recover from a disaster. It should include the necessary contacts, backups, and other resources needed in order to get back on track.

To create a DRP, identify the potential risks and threats to your business. These could include fire, flood, cyber-attacks, or IT failure. Once you have identified these risks and threats, you can then create a response plan for each one.

A DRP should include:

  • A backup site
  • Backup copies of data
  • Tools to recover data
  • A communication strategy for employees
  • A list of all devices and their locations
  • Procedures for restoring operations

The best way to make sure your company is prepared for anything is by preparing for the worst and expecting the best.

Maintain communication

Communicating with your clients, employees, and third-party providers will help maintain positive ties, business continuity, and move forward from the experience together.

Creating alternate communication channels and providing all parties with a list of contacts in case of an emergency will ensure everyone knows the best way to get in touch – whether this is for professional or personal reasons. This way, you can provide everyone with regular updates and ascertain the safety and wellbeing of your colleagues and clients.

Doing so will help you maintain the trust of your employees and constituents, keeping their morale up so they can work towards rebuilding your company when it comes back online.

Talk to the disaster recovery specialists

The right plan in place will help to mitigate the impact of a disaster on your business, and make sure your business is ready for whatever comes next.

The business recovery strategists at Essential Tech can help you put together a BCP, DRP, and ensure you’re ready the next time disaster strikes. Talk to them today and be prepared.

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