Many businesses were unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, which is understandable considering it is near impossible to predict such an event. However, there are other types of unforeseen threats that could potentially interrupt your business and can be devastating as well. It is important to be prepared for these types of threats so the next time your business is interrupted, you will have a plan.
Some of the threats to prepare for include natural disasters, criminal activity, terrorist acts, and pandemic. Below we share some tips to consider when creating a “Business Continuation Plan”, which is a plan put in place to keep your organization running even if your building cannot be used, or if your employees have to switch to remote work quickly.
- Keep copies of all insurance policies in a secure, yet accessible location. This is important in case you need to file a claim quickly, such as if your building is damaged.
- Evaluate which disasters are most likely to put your organization at risk. For example, some geographic areas are more prone to harsh weather such as hurricanes. There are other threats can happen anywhere, such as a pandemic. Consider the events that your organization is at risk for and come up with continuation plans for each of those scenarios.
- Consider communication methods. It’s helpful to have a phone list with all staff members and management’s cell phone numbers. This way, staff can be reached even after hours, from any location in case your facility must close abruptly.
- Another communication issue to think about is your switchboard phone. If your main office phone is not available for use, have a plan to forward calls to cell phones or a phone offsite.
- Keep a stockpile of emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, etc. These items can come in handy for a number of emergencies and should always be kept on hand.
While there are many more factors that go into creating a business continuation plan, these are a good place to start! When disaster strikes, and your organization must adapt and figure out how to continue operations, having a plan in place is crucial. For more tips and information on creating a business continuation plan, click here to download a free guide to help you create one for your organization!