Recovering from a disaster is expensive, exhausting, and time-consuming. Even businesses whose insurance covered the flooding have been forced to deal with losses of inventory, reduced production hours, having to find new workspaces, etc. In many cases, these businesses were ill-prepared for these contingencies and it definitely had an impact on the local economy (and morale).
As Monty Python is famous for saying, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Still, it is important to do your best to prepare against potential disasters as best you can so that, should something terrible happen, you won’t be caught completely off guard. Obviously, you can’t prepare for everything (because nobody knows everything that could go wrong) but there are some big problems that are more common than others. Here is how to protect your business against the biggest threats:
Climate change is causing more storms and wild fluctuations in weather. Take steps to reinforce your building to hold up against down trees, utility poles, power lines, etc. Get shatter-proof glass for your windows so you won’t lose them to hail and extreme wind. Make sure that you and your employees know how to stay safe during a thunderstorm if a bad one hits during work hours.
No matter where you live, it is important to make sure that your company’s information is secure. This is getting harder everyday, say the experts in network security at Trend Micro, due to changing regulations and the increasing rate at which business owners and employees are using their own personal devices for work purposes. The fact that hacking and digital theft is growing at an alarming rate is also a concern. Make sure that your servers, your accounts, etc. are as secure as possible–both in-house and with your remote servers and data storage facilities.
Loss Prevention from energy shortage
We’re not talking about white collar crime or shoplifting here, you likely have learned all about that during your HR training. We’re talking about keeping your information and data safe if something goes wrong with your security. It’s good that you’ve taken steps to prevent hackers and cyber ne’er-do-wells but remember: power surges and outages, weather, and other “real world” issues can also cause damage and cause you to lose everything. Back up your systems regularly and keep copies of everything on thumb drives. Keep copies of your hard files and original important documents in a fire-safe location, preferably offsite. Do these backups and make these copies at least once a day.
As the citizens of Flint, Michigan can attest, we are not immune to water-based disasters. Apart from the obvious threat of flooding, pollution is also a major concern as the county is home to many manufacturing facilities. Even if those facilities are 100% compliant with EPA and federal regulations, there is still a chance that something could go wrong. There is also the threat of certain types of harmful bacteria leeching into our water system naturally via poorly insulated pipes, etc. Having a contingency plan in place for a water shortage and for filtering water that has been found contaminated.
Moisture and Mold
Humidity is great for plants that grow and thrive, but it can wreak havoc on buildings and work spaces. Humidity often causes condensation to occur in poorly insulated buildings where the humid air comes into contact with climate controlled air. That condensation can lead to mildew or, worse, mold problems. Certain types of mold, like black mold, can even be life-threatening if left untreated. Make sure your workspaces are properly treated and insulated to prevent molding and mildewing from causing harm to yourself and your employees.
There is no way to prepare for everything, but you can prepare for the common. We’ve outlined a few of the common disasters that business owners face. Did we miss anything? Let us know!
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