What is Your Disaster Management Plan?
These days, you never know what’s around the corner. That’s why as a business owner, you have to be prepared for anything. From natural disasters to catastrophic maintenance issue, there are so many scenarios that require your careful consideration even while you’re maintaining your busy daily operations. So, what is your disaster management plan? If your response is, “I don’t have one,” or you know you’re overdue to update the plan you have in place, or you have no idea where to begin planning for disasters, then use the checklist we’ve created below.
EXTERNAL DISASTERS: The Ones You Can’t Control (But You Can Still Plan For)
Regardless of whether you believe they’re acts of God, acts of Nature, or a mix of the two, the fact is that major disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes can strike in many parts of the country. (Think you don’t have to worry about an earthquake because you’re not in California? Do an online search for “New Madrid Seismic Zone” and you’ll be surprised to see how many states in the middle of the country are at risk.) While you obviously can’t walk outside and command a hurricane or tornado to bypass your business, you can take some proactive steps to protect your property and most important, the people inside it:
* REVIEW YOUR INSURANCE.
Are you properly covered for natural disasters? Consult a trusted advisor to make sure that your business won’t be destroyed financially if it’s destroyed physically. Don’t assume, for example, that your property is covered from flooding damage.
* PRACTICE BUILDING EVACUATIONS.
While posting these notices are generally required by the government, you should also rehearse where everyone will go and what everyone will do in the event of a tornado or other unexpected scenario. By conducting a periodic fire drill, for example, your team will be reminded of the importance of safety and teamwork, and they’ll also see your commitment to their well-being as your highest priority. That brief period away from desks or work stations won’t be lost productivity, because you’ll be improving morale and increasing the likelihood that lives will be saved in the event of a disaster.
* PROTECT YOUR DATA.
Even a small business owner has to process and maintain a large amount of personal and customer information on your mobile device and commercial servers. Think about how much you’re investing in protecting that sacred trust, and how your reputation and bottom line could be crippled if hackers were able to breach your firewalls and exploit the information they found. Be proactive now and don’t avoid any expenses that are required to protect the information that is so critical for your business, not to mention your customers.
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INTERNAL DISASTERS: The Ones You Can Avoid (Or At Least Minimize) Through Planning
Inside your building, you have much more control over what happens if you’re willing to invest some time and money now for a thoughtful disaster management plan.
* ROUTINE MAINTENANCE PLANS.
Invest in hiring service professionals who will come out on a routine basis to check vital systems and their components — everything from HVAC to plumbing. By conducting routine checks of these systems, you’re far more likely to identify a small leak before it explodes into a major flood cleanup or sewer cleanup disaster.
* KNOW HOW TO SHUT OFF THE WATER, ELECTRICITY AND GAS LINES.
What if you’re the only one in the building and there’s a huge flooding situation, or another emergency requires the electricity or gas to be turned off? Even worse, what if you’re away from the building and you’re the only one who knows how to do these basic but essential tasks to protect your employees and your property? Take some time to locate the main shutoff valves and breaker boxes, and then train others with the same information and skills. You could literally save your business, not to mention people’s lives.
* MAKE AN OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR LOST TIME.
Even if you catch a flooding problem early, you’re still probably going to have a bill for water removal and water damage restoration. Depending on the scope and severity of the issue, you’ll need to be prepared to flex your teams into different work spaces or possibly even shift inventory to a temporary location to allow for repairs to be conducted. Even if you never have to use these kinds of contingency plans, they’ll give you and your team members the comfort of knowing how to respond if disaster strikes.
For every moisture control need, especially if you have mold issues or water damage from an internal maintenance disaster, contact the professionals at AdvantaClean today. We’ve got over 25 years of experience in helping commercial businesses like yours to get back on their feet and back to serving their customers after disaster situations. We look forward to earning your business. Help is only a call or a click away! It’s not clean until it’s AdvantaClean.