How to Develop a Business Continuity Plan After a Storm
Prepare Your Business For A Storm
Storms and flooding can strike very suddenly in O'Fallon, MO. While some predictions can be made about widescale storms, others come without warning, and the results can be a disaster for a community – and spell bankruptcy for a business.
Fortunately, you can act proactively and prepare for problems. There are three critical steps to build resiliency in your business:
- Get a commercial insurance policy.
- Develop a continuity plan.
- Keep key personnel informed.
Know Your Insurance Coverage – and Its Exemptions
Insurance policies can be confusing. Make sure you ask your agent about what is and isn’t covered. If you want flood coverage, you’ll need a separate flood policy https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance .
Establish a Business Continuity Plan
The U.S. Government maintains a website to help citizens and businesses prepare for disasters. They have a detailed description of how to develop your plan, beginning with the business impact analysis.
This starts with a risk assessment to determine what’s high risk for your location and type of business. Are you in a high-risk flood zone? Do you rely on digital information or is everything local? Which natural disasters are most likely?
Which Disaster Is Most Likely – or Most Harmful?
Aim for the most probable disasters based on your BIA. For disasters unlikely in O'Fallon, MO, it may not be worth detailed planning, but general disaster planning can have wide-reaching benefits, even in unforeseen situations.
Key Personnel Should Be in the Loop
The key to resiliency after getting storm damage is to get reopened as soon as possible. Most small businesses will fail within two years if they’ve been closed for more than a couple of days after a disaster. Immediately after the storm, every essential person should be contacted and information shared.
You need to discuss what resources you need to reopen as fast as possible after the storm passes. Calling a commercial restoration specialist immediately after a storm can also be the difference between surviving the disaster and never reopening. Speed is essential, so your restoration company will work with you to get reopened as soon as possible.
With an established continuity plan and good insurance, you can survive the storm and get back to business quickly. Every day you’re closed increases your risk of staying that way.