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An unexpected event such as a seasonal storm can wreak havoc on your business. While you may not be able to manage Mother Nature, you can take steps to protect your business against the impact of a natural disaster.

In honor of National Preparedness Month, consider these tips to help prepare your business in the event a disaster or emergency comes your way.

Make a Plan

If you haven’t mapped out how your business operations would change in the aftermath of a natural disaster, this should be your first priority. Consider scenarios in which the physical location of your business is inaccessible, a significant portion of your staff is unable to come to work or any other situation that could result in the inability to continue business as usual. Your plan should address minor impacts up to a worst-case scenario and outline how you’ll adjust accordingly, including which staff members will be responsible for leading each change. Define contingency resources and operating standards so you can quickly shift gears as soon as you can safely do so.

Ensure a Reliable Power Source

Power is often one of the first resources affected by weather-related disasters, and depending on the severity of the storm, outages can be lengthy. Adequate power is essential for keeping your business moving and ensuring operations don’t come to a halt during a time of need. Establishing a partnership with a power expert can help with your everyday power needs while also guaranteeing you’re prepared for unexpected events. A professional partner’s expert counsel can guide you toward the right power source for your system in addition to helping prevent the logistical impact of battery failures, unplanned downtime or subpar performance.

Keep Insurance Up to Date

As a business owner, you shoulder a great deal of responsibility, not only for your business and its assets but also for the people you employ. Maintaining a current and adequate insurance policy is an essential business practice. If you don’t make it a habit to review the terms of your policy each renewal period, take time to do so right away. If you find any areas of potential exposure, contact your insurance agent to discuss how you can better protect your employees, your business and, ultimately, yourself.

Consider How Assets are Stored

Whether your business produces tangible goods or you deal in data, your assets may become inaccessible in the event of a natural disaster. Regular backups, digital file management and remote access can protect vital business information. Be conscious of storage needs you may take for granted with your current business setup. Your backup storage plan should include vendors located well outside your region who you’ve vetted and know you can trust.  

Anticipate Commun-ication Needs

In the hours, days and weeks following a natural disaster, you can expect an elevated need for information by everyone who is involved with your business, from your senior leadership team and other employees to customers and vendors. Think about how you typically communicate with each of these audiences and what changes may be necessary if your normal operations are disrupted. Decide ahead of time who will be responsible for leading communication updates and discuss your expectations about transparency and timeliness to ensure your business circle stays apprised of developments.

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