All companies need a comprehensive disaster recovery plan to ensure they can get back to business as usual should disaster strike. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, approximately 25 percent of businesses fail to reopen after a major disaster. If you own a business in New Jersey, an experienced Monmouth County business attorney can assist you with all aspects of business disaster recovery.
One of the first steps in developing a disaster recovery plan is to consider the potential impact a natural disaster or other major event would have on your business. What is essential to your business’s day-to-day operations? How will you keep your business going if the building that houses its operations is severely damaged or destroyed? Is your business adequately insured?
Once you have thought about the potential impact, you can take steps to ensure you are prepared. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers businesses of all sizes the following disaster preparedness tips:
- Determine what equipment, machinery, materials, computers and files are necessary to keep your business open; store extra supplies offsite
- Make plans for a temporary location should your business have to suddenly relocate
- Prepare for utility interruptions by getting a portable generator
- Identify escape routes and establish meet-up locations
- Designate a contact person to communicate with employees, vendors and customers — they can get the word out that your business is still open following a major disaster
- Obtain additional insurance if necessary; for instance, many policies don’t cover flood damage, but you may be able to purchase separate flood insurance
- Consider getting business interruption insurance, which covers loss of income due to a temporary, disaster-related closure
- Store important documents in fireproof safe deposit boxes
- Make back-up copies of all tax, accounting, payroll, production and customer records; store these copies offsite at least 100 miles away
- Prevent wind damage by installing impact-resistant windows and door systems or plywood shutters
- Maintain a list of current phone numbers for employees, suppliers, customers, utility companies, emergency agencies and local media
In addition to maintaining a list of important phone numbers and designating a contact person, you may want to decide which alternative communication methods employees will use should the building become inaccessible. Some options include cell phones, Skype, web-based email like Google or Yahoo, or instant messaging. Also, you may want to consider backing up important computer files online, or even outsourcing your data backup needs to a provider that offers monitoring, security and support. However you choose to back up electronic data, do a recovery test-run to ensure you can access the information.
There are obviously a lot of things to consider when developing a disaster recovery plan, and the larger the company, the more complicated it can be. To help ensure a major disaster does not spell the end of your business, call a qualified Monmouth County business lawyer today for all of your business disaster recovery needs.