Natural disasters are a simple fact of life. You should do your best to respond to a disaster before it happens. Pay enough attention and effort so to prevent severe damage and be able to easily mitigate the effects of a hurricane-related disruption of your business in the future. Have a hurricane survival and recovery strategy.
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recommends the following 5 basic steps:
- Develop a comprehensive plan
- Determine procedures and individual crisis management responsibilities
- Coordinate with others
- Prepare employees.
- Review emergency plans annually
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So, how can you develop a hurricane survival and recovery strategy?
- Plan, Prepare and Practice
Identify your critical mission applications, select essential backup data, store data offsite, identify key personnel, and more.
- Backup Your Data
Backups should be performed without delay and stored in a safe, secure, and reliable facility.
- Protect Your Site Facilities and Equipment
You can do this with the help of uninterruptible power supply (batteries and generators), backup water source and a supply of gasoline powered pumps. Board up the windows and other vulnerable apertures. Construct facilities away from flood plains and fault zones.
- Operate Remotely
Fortunately, laptop computers can function almost anywhere. Use software that can permit your laptop to emulate a system console. Consider a cash advance for travelers, pre-blocking hotel rooms and opening airline/carrier service expense accounts.
- Have an On-Site Support Plan
Don’t forget about food and water supplies, sleeping facilities, bathing facilities and amenities, and spare clothes for all employees.
- Plan Your Business Processing Recovery
Use another computer site within your company’s enterprise. Subscribe with a business recovery service.
- Declare Emergency Status in Advance
Activate recovery plans, vendors, and action teams quickly.
- Outsource Your Recovery
Restore and recover subscriber systems, applications and network at the alternate site. Production processing can be implemented by the skilled professionals of the vendor.
- Establish an Effective Communications Strategy
Communicate with your communications vendors on options and alternatives. Establish backup communications. Have a procedure for restoring communication services. Develop a communications policy between yourself and your employees.
- Remain Flexible and Adaptable
Expect the unexpected.
- Have Business Insurance
Meet with your insurance agent to make sure he/she understands your business needs. Have the right type of insurance.
- Make a Complete Inventory of Your Business
You can use paper and pencil, but a standard camera and/or a video camera can be a useful backup.
- Protect Essential Business Records
If possible, keep all paper records in a safe off-site location at least 50 miles from your business site.
A serious, thoughtful and committed approach to the challenges associated with your business recovery is a must. Your business will only benefit from a hurricane response plan.