What To Do When Your Business Faces Disaster
Even if you do everything right, natural and manmade disasters alike can strike your business. It’s easy to panic in this scenario, but if you know what to do next, you may be able to keep working through the disaster or get back on your feet as soon as possible. Disasters are stressful and potentially expensive affairs, but they don’t have to cost you your business.
Plan For the Worst
The best way to keep working during a disaster is to be prepared. Create a disaster plan for the more likely scenarios, so you and your employees know exactly how to act when things go wrong. Different disasters require different responses, but some are far less likely than others.
Regardless of your location, you should at least plan for electrical failures, fires, and floods. You may also be concerned about security breaches or other internal problems. As well as having a disaster plan ready, you should also ensure that your team is prepared to act.
Regular safety drills will acclimatize you and your team to certain situations, so you can act smoothly. These drills mimic the situation and reduce the chance of panic if disaster does strike. You may be legally bound to run certain safety drills, but it’s beneficial to go above and beyond the legal requirements.
As well as making sure your team is prepared, keep backups of necessary data if you can. This will help you to keep your digital assets safe, even if your physical assets are damaged. The more you can save, the less time and money you’ll lose. You should also have backup plans, just in case.
If you haven’t already, arrange an insurance plan for your property and your equipment. You can’t always prevent loss and damage, but you may be able to prevent a severe blow to your wallet.
One of the benefits of good planning is that your team will be able to move and act quickly to deal with the disaster. While you might not be able to stop the disaster itself, you may be able to mitigate the damage.
However, the most important thing is to get you and your people out of the area safely. In the event of a fire or flood, for example, nobody should delay to save equipment or data. Insurance can replace equipment, but nothing can replace a life.
Not every disaster is life-threatening, however. If the power fails, for example, you should act quickly to find out what is causing the issue. The sooner you get power back, the sooner you can regain productivity. Depending on your premises, it may be beneficial to have an emergency power generator that can keep you running even in the event of an area-wide power failure.
You can recover from some disasters almost instantly, simply picking up where you left off. A power failure rarely causes permanent damage, although it can cause productivity to grind to a halt. However, certain disasters result in damage to your property or data, which can make it difficult or impossible to get back to work.
While it might be tempting to push your employees and to cut corners when bringing your property back to working order, this can be a mistake. Unsafe or unpleasant working conditions result in lower productivity, lower morale, and can cause legal problems.
Instead, you should repair your business property and, if possible, secure it against any future disasters. For example, flooding or other disasters cause water damage and mold. A water restoration company will act quickly to prevent further damage and to bring your property back to its former condition.
If your property and equipment are insured, then contact your insurance provider to replace any lost equipment and to repair any damage. While disasters can be overwhelming, it’s best to contact them as soon as possible and to record any damage.
Some disasters can be traumatic to your employees, especially if someone has been injured during the event. Be mindful of this and, if possible, accommodate their needs.
Keeping Things Running
Recovery can take time and, while insurance may cover some costs, it’s always preferable to start trading again as quickly as you can. Depending on your business, you and your staff may be able to work from home in some capacity.
Even if this isn’t possible, keep open communication with your clients and customers, making them aware of the situation as it develops. This will help you to keep good relationships, even if you’re unable to trade for a short time.