First, software vendor Sage North America finds 62% of small businesses don’t have a formal business continuity, emergency or disaster preparedness plan in place. The good news is that 94% of small businesses back up their financial data (84% do so weekly), but the bad news is that 79% say they store this data on site. May I suggest a very inexpensive safe deposit box at the Banner Bank on 10th & Bannock here in Downtown Boise, Idaho. Perhaps that is one reason why the Insurance Information Institute finds up to 40% of businesses affected by a natural or human-caused disaster never reopen. www.Ready.gov has some very useful information regarding being prepared for a man-made or natural disasters.
Second, do an analysis of the areas of your business that a disaster might impact. Identify and document things you’ll need to have and areas where you might need to improve. Next, develop a true plan, see where things might not work as expected and learn what to do. The last thing a small business needs when a crisis hits is uncertainty. Make sure to test and maintain your plan.
If you were my client, this would be a very important piece of your overall operations. The more confident I am in your capabilities, the more confident I can be that you’ll repay your loan and remain a customer for decades. No one knows when a disaster may occur, but helping my customers prepare is one way I limit my risk and theirs.
The government suggests people have enough food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours; but as we have seen from Hurricane Sandy and other disasters, a few weeks is probably better.