While Waffle house and other large companies may have extensive plans for disaster preparedness, only 35 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses have a disaster recovery plan, according to a survey by technology firm Gartner Inc. But between 15 percent and 40 percent of businesses fail after a man-made or natural disaster, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
James Rivera, associate administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance, shared these 10 tips for preparing a disaster plan:
- Assess your risk, both internally and externally. Look at what emergencies have occurred in the past, and whether your location is at a physical risk for future damage.
- Assess critical business functions.
- Prepare your supply chain. Talk to vendors and find alternatives to back up primary suppliers.
- Create an emergency management plan for your employees.
- Back up your computer data. *
- Create a crisis communications plan with up-to-date contact information for all employees, vendors and other business partners.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit that includes important records, contact information and cash.
- Review your insurance coverage.
- Plan for an alternate location if your primary location is unusable.
- Exercise your plan. Put it on paper and test it regularly.
* There are many reasons to invest in an online backup/recovery solution. It will save you the horror and many headaches you’re likely to experience if you were to lose every file and photo on your computer. Don’t think this could happen to you? This situation is more common than you think. Be prepared with a backup plan…a backup/recovery solution!
Recovery is the key. If you have a backup plan in place but have never tested the recovery… beware, up to 77% (depending what report you read) of the recoveries from tape fail. Here’s the bottom line: periodically test the recovery of your data to make sure everything is working!
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