A Hard Question

datePosted on 12:54, September 28th, 2011 by headgeek

I have a hard question for fellow business owners out there.

If you are on vacation or otherwise out of town, do your employees know what to do, in the event of an emergency?

In 2008, the central Indiana town of Franklin was under water due a major flood. Many businesses were closed due to the high waters.  Today, many of those store fronts are still closed, those businesses never re-opened.

 

Joplin, Missouri was hit very hard by a tornado in May of 2011.

Both of these events demonstrate how serious the unexpected may damage not only your business, but how the absence of your business can impact your community.

Just as most all commercial buildings have emergency evacuation plans, businesses need an emergency continuation plan.  Developing a plan is not an easy task.  There are so many situations, from the above mentioned floods and tornadoes to fires, one-off accidents and other things unimaginable.  To make a simple plan that is all encompassing is not possible, because there are too many variables. Instead, start with a simple example, setting aside the why. As an example, start with the idea that the building your business is in, is no longer accessible.  Work with the assumption, this is a sudden, and unexpected situation, with no time for special preparation.

Now, start thinking about everything you touch in the office or store; everything from the alarm pad, when you open the door of a morning to that same alarm pad, as you lock up at the end of the day.

With this mental list start evaluating what you would need to keep your business alive. Start determining what physical items you would need. Now, imagine the phone is ringing. How will you handle communications with clients and vendors? Do you deliver a service or products or both? Do you have hard copy of your client list, invoices and business records?

As you can see, this can quickly become a nightmare situation.

Mitigate the impact and situation by building a plan, training your employees and being prepared.

Indy’s Computer Geek can help with this planning.

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3 Responses to “A Hard Question”

  1. Harrison Painter on September 28th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Some great food for thought, and something I am sure many business owners overlook.

  2. Veterinarian in Indianapolis on September 28th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Wow, that’s a scary question. Let alone the obvious insurance nightmare, I suppose it would be possible to either bunk with a competitor (which happened when a local vet’s office burned down) or by getting a new load of supplies and starting a satellite. We use a VOIP phone system which can be easily forwarded, so at least the phone lines would work. And our computer system’s files are being constantly backed up offsite, though we’ve not ever attempted a D-day trial resurrection on a blank computer to see if the system can be rebuilt…

  3. Douglas Karr on September 28th, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    This is when I’m happy that almost every service we use is cloud-based. We can pick up and go anywhere and still be at work. Building emergency preparedness strategies is a pretty good business. May be worth productizing and packaging at a standard rate!