Is your organization prepared for a disaster?

Disasters can strike at any time – often with little or no warning – and the effects upon your business can be devastating. Preparing for uncertainty takes time, money, resources, and effort; however… preparedness planning certainly outweighs the alternative of assuming “Nothing bad will never happen to me”.  Following a disastrous incident we often hear business owners say, “We could and should have been better prepared.”

The following is a very simple ten question self-assessment exercise which will allow you to gauge your organization’s level of readiness to withstand an unplanned business interruption:

  1. Does your organization have a current emergency preparedness plan that addresses all types of business disruptions?
  1. Have you reviewed your critical business activities to understand the necessary resources, staffing, and interdependencies of each department in your organization?
  1. Do you have a plan to recover those business activities following an emergency, and do you know in which sequence they need to be restarted?
  1. In the event of an emergency, do you know how to contact your employees, your customers, and your suppliers during or after work hours? Do you have an emergency communications plan that does NOT involve a manual call tree system?
  1. Have you reviewed your insurance coverage with your agent in the last twelve months to be sure you have adequate coverage to protect your facilities, your employees, and your business revenue flow?
  1. Have you taken steps to secure your critical business records, including both paper files and electronic data?
  1. Does your organization have a documented data backup policy with regularly-scheduled backups which are stored in a secure off-site location? Have you ever tried to recover lost data from a backup? Have you ever rebuilt a server from scratch using your backup media?
  1. Do you have an alternate place to conduct business which could be used as your primary worksite in the event of an emergency?
  1. Are you prepared to conduct business if your primary suppliers cannot deliver your products because of a disruption in the supply chain? Do you have alternate vendors for raw materials, shipping, computer services, payroll, and basic human needs?
  1. Have you reviewed your organization’s emergency plans with your employees? Do you know the personal emergency plans of your key employees?

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