People toss around the word “disaster” quite freely these days. Even relatively minor incidents are promoted to disaster status. A missed two-foot putt, a burned dinner, or an uncharged phone battery can all be considered disasters by those affected. But when a true disaster strikes, our reality changes — so does our concept of the word.
A Real Disaster
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be more active than historical averages, according to the latest outlook released in mid-May by The Weather Company®. Real disasters come in all types and sizes. Some are huge, like hurricanes; some are smaller, like a flooded basement. But if you’re the one affected by the disaster, size is irrelevant. The impact is devastating and overwhelming.
If you’re a business owner, you know the double jeopardy you face from a natural or man-made disaster. It not only affects you personally; it can also damage your business. Your company’s ability to deal with disasters is crucial not only to its future, but also to your community’s resilience. How will you as an owner react to the challenges that result from a situation that threatens to put you out of business?
Could Your Business Survive?
One useful program available through Federated Insurance is Open for Business-EZ® (OFB-EZ), a business continuity tool provided by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and designed to help even the smallest business plan for disaster recovery.
By using OFB-EZ, you can create and customize a disaster recovery plan today, and have it ready if and when you need it. As your business evolves and you make changes in facilities, personnel, vendors, or operations, you can update your plan, ensuring it’s always accurate and current. Federated clients can access the OFB-EZ toolkit through Federated’s Shield Network®.
Once you have created your plan, it is wise to save a printed copy in addition to the electronic version. It could be days or even weeks before power or communication systems are repaired after a disaster. Having a printed copy allows you to implement your plan immediately without having to wait for Internet connections to be restored.
The IBHS www.disastersafety.org website is designed to help protect people’s homes and personal assets by creating awareness of the likely perils that can occur in a region. This site’s homepage includes a zip code tool designed to concentrate the efforts of home and business owners in preparing for specific perils like floods, wildfires, and tornadoes, among others. Resources such as best practices, assessments, guides, and checklists are all available to help protect homes and businesses before a disaster hits.
Disasters of all types can threaten businesses and homes regardless of location. A community cannot survive a disaster unless businesses survive, and a business cannot survive unless its employees survive. Having a solid disaster plan in place can give you peace of mind and increase the odds of staying open for business should the worst happen.
Published Date:August 15, 2018
Categories: Risk Management Corner