Can Your Business Operate Even After A Disaster?

What if your employees couldn’t get to work due to a natural disaster?

Yet the past event that occurred in Boston on Monday was not a natural disaster, I’m sure the surrounding businesses won’t be able to attend their workplace the following day or even the next couple of days. Depending on your location, there are some areas that have more reason to be concern about this subject matter. Some areas are more prone to having natural disasters. I can still remember 9-11-2001, a mortgage company employed me and I was the Vice President at the time. Because I was responsible for secondary marketing and pricing, I always got to work by 6am PST. At that time I had a TV in my office and all I remember is watching my favorite local news channel KTLA, and on the screen was a picture of a high-rise building smoking from some sort of fire. Within minutes we all understood we were under attack and I made the decision to notify the employees that our office will be closed for the day so everyone can be with their families. At that time, technology was lacking in the office space. I think we were barely getting off dial up, and converting to DSL. But I had to make the decision that we would be closed for the day, that meant any loans that were scheduled to close that day would be postponed. If I remember correctly, a lot of major companies made the same decision including banks, so I don’t think we would have been able to wire funds that day anyways. Now looking back at that day, if we had the technology to still function and operate our day to day business we would have been able to still conduct business and make revenue for the business.

Does your business have the ability to operate remotely?

If there were a natural disaster, some sort of terrorist act, or something that caused your office to be closed a day, or even multiple days would your company be able to still operate if your employees couldn’t make it to the office? Depending on your business, you should still have the ability to operate on a smaller scale. If you are a service based business this might be easier for you to operate remotely. If you are a service-based business, are you prepared to run your business from your residence? Does your key employees have the ability to operate from their location and have you made plans if that time ever came? How much will it cost your business if you can’t operate during a time of emergency crisis? You should take this matter serious, and you need to make sure your business can still function even during a major event like a terrorist act or natural disaster. A lot of our customers are relying on us to fund their working capital loans, so we need to make sure we are seamless if something should happen. Our company has the ability to function at least to 90% if we had to work remotely. We have quarterly training and tests incase an event like this happens. Make sure your key employees know what to do if something like a natural disaster happens. Have specific tasks for your key employees or management. To be sure your plan is successful, you should run some drills to make sure there are no faults in the plan. Planning ahead is better than trying to figure things out at the last minute, take the time to start drawing up some ideas and put them into action!



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