Hurricane Florence barreled its way onto the eastern U.S. coast this week. People in South Carolina, North Carolina and beyond are still getting soaked by the storm’s heavy rains; so many businesses were forced to shut down. When businesses close, that means revenue loss, employees out of work and operations at a standstill. I hope those business owners have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) or a business continuity plan (BCP). Do you have one?
A BCP is a documented plan that helps both business owners and employees prepare for a natural disaster or event that will disrupt business operations. A DRP describes how to resume business operations as soon as possible after a natural disaster strikes.
Now’s a good time to make sure you have both a BCP and DRP. Here’s what you need to consider:
- LEADERSHIP TEAM – Make sure you have a planning team or leadership team of employees who are going to implement your emergency plan. This can include managers or even volunteers.
- IDENTIFY POTENTIAL HAZARDS – Before disaster strikes, go through your business floor by floor, room by room and identify potential hazards. Upgrade or remove anything that could threaten your business, like loose items outside, that could fly into your business or damage others, if a storm hits.
- HAVE INDIVIDUAL ACTION PLANS – If your business is located in a region with multiple potential natural hazards, like wildfires and tornadoes, have an action plan for each. How will your business react to each? What will you do to recover from both?
- SHARE YOUR PLAN – Now’s the time to gather your entire team and share your BCP and DRP with everyone. Employees should know who they need to report to before and after a natural disaster. Share a call in number, where employees can hear recorded information or speak to a team leader. All plans should be written down so it can be distributed company-wide.
If you plan ahead, you may be able to avoid damage to your business or lessen the amount of loss to your income. Now is the time to plan and implement your business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan.
We hope our friends along the east coast and beyond who were affected by Hurricane Florence make it through the storm relatively unscathed, but we know that may not be the case. So business owners take action now, before the next storm or natural disaster strikes.