CO – January 31, 2012 – Reacting to a natural disaster or emergency not only
means ensuring the immediate safety of employees, but also planning how the
business will continue to function in the aftermath.
Disasters can be related to everything from
weather, health, or major equipment.
The BBB advises business to be fully
prepared for any disaster with a comprehensive business continuation plan.
According to the Insurance Institute for
Home and Business Safety, one in four small businesses forced to close because
of a disaster never re-opens. Business that have a business continuity plan in
place – and use it during and after disaster strikes – typically experience
less damage, loss and downtime than businesses without a plan.
The BBB advises the following for business
owners to prepare for a disaster:
The Better Business
Bureau, along with the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter are hosting an
event on Thursday, February 2, that features a seminar for businesses to learn
all they need to know about preparing for a disaster. The event will be held at the American Red
Cross on 444 Sherman St in Denver. Please visit denver.bbb.org/events to
- Don’t be caught off guard. Consider the different types of
disasters—fire, flood, tornado, etc.—that can occur and how your business
would respond differently to being displaced for a week, a month, or
- Know your surroundings. Determine alternate locations for your
business to operate if you are displaced from your current building. This
could mean enabling employees to work from home or finding an alternate
location for your office or store.
- Prepare your staff. Identify essential staff who are core to the
operations of the business and keep a list of their phone numbers (home,
work, pager, cell) and e-mail addresses that can be accessed by employees
from several locations (home, Internet, etc.).
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Devise an
emergency communications plan that outlines how your business will
communicate with employees, customers, vendors and other key external
contacts in the days following a disaster. Contact vendors and suppliers
to confirm their emergency response plan procedures. Be prepared to use
alternate vendors for essential supplies and equipment. Have your back-up
equipment kept in good working condition.
- Have an up-to-date inventory of your assets. Review your
insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for items you
cannot afford to lose. A standard policy may not cover business
- Store your documents safely and efficiently. Keep
duplicates of personnel, payroll, payables and receivables and other
essential records at an off-site location. Regularly make back-up copies
of important computer files.
- Establish a succession of management for the company. Determine
who will manage the company if key leaders are unavailable.
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About the BBB
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standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB
Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high
standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, free
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Wise Giving ReportsTM on charities and educational information on
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offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB
was founded in 1912. Today, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada. Please visit www.denver.bbb.org
for more information.