News this Week: Business Continuity and Emergency Planning

What should you be paying attention to this week?

Forecasted path of Hurricane Irene. Image: The Weather Channel.
News this week here in DC was dominated by the East Coast Earthquake, Hurricane Irene, and Steve Jobs’ resignation from Apple. (all from Washington Post)

This is has certainly been an eventful week. What’s your takeaway?

As a business owner, you need both an evacuation plan and a shelter-in-place plan to keep everyone safe.

But you also need to consider business continuity planning.

Who will make the decision to close your business in due to natural disaster or another event? If you have employees in multiple locations, how will each be affected? How will buildings be secured in case of damage?

Where will customer service calls be routed if your call center must be closed? If critical employees are affected by the disaster, who will take over for them?

Will people be able to answer emails remotely even if your email server is damaged? Can phone calls be forwarded to employees at home?

If your server room is damaged, where are your files backed up? Are critical documents stored in fire-proof containers?

What does your insurance cover? What is not covered and must be protected in another way?

You can find more information on business continuity planning here:

If you run your business out of your home, your business should be part of your family’s home emergency and evacuation plan. If you don’t have one of those, click here to get started.

What does Steve Jobs’ unfortunate situation have to do with this?

Now is also a good time to identify critical employees (yourself included), and what to do if they can't work. If you have an emergency and can't work, who will take over? Consider some cross training and succession planning.

What's this action packed week got you thinking? Please share in the comments or drop me a line.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

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