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When the Floodwaters Recede, Will Your Business Be Afloat?

Posted on September 1, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness Blog
In May, states across the US experienced major flooding and record-breaking tornadoes plowed through cities and towns. In June, wildfires devastated Arizona. In April, newspapers and news channels were consumed with the Boston bombing. In every case, local businesses were impacted – and in some cases destroyed – in the aftermath of the disaster. 

With disasters—manmade and natural—on the rise worldwide, and local businesses increasingly impacted by what happens around the globe as much as what happens down the street, business continuity planning is more important than ever. 

Some Businesses Won’t Survive

Local businesses are the economic backbone of their communities. When they have no plan to guide recovery efforts after a disaster, the effects of lost wages and services ripple through the entire community, and the impacts keep piling up after the crisis.

Following a major disaster, local businesses that aren’t prepared continue to suffer. According to a study by the Institute for Business & Home Safety, 25% of local businesses never reopen. For those that do, reopening quickly is essential to survival. More than 80% of businesses that take more than 10 days to resume operations will close within one month. 

Some Businesses Will Thrive

Nobody would hope for a disaster to boost the local economy, but experience shows that they often do. The effect is so significant that local economies are often overrun by outside businesses seeking to get their hands on valuable contracts. Often, these companies bring in their own outside workers that have no ties to the community. If your business can weather the storm, it will help your bottom line and benefit local workers and families. 

Preparation is Key

Business continuity planning can help your business weather the storm—or anything else that comes along. The basic steps are relatively easy, but many businesses never get around to thinking about them until it’s too late.

  • Identify key stakeholders.
  • Prioritize critical functions.
  • Plan to restore functions following a disaster. Consider the following:
  • Establish orders of succession
  • Develop crisis communication plans
  • Design an IT disaster recovery plan
  • Define organizational roles & responsibilities that will take effect during the disruption

Benefits Beyond Survival

As you develop a business continuity plan, you’ll take a closer look at your organization and its priorities. Often, stakeholders uncover ways to streamline or improve operations as a byproduct of disaster planning.  

Disasters may be devastating, but planning is good for business. Get started today!

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