Continuity Plans are Essential for all Business Owners

Disasters can have devastating effects on businesses. An incident such as lightning striking a small business’ power supply and frying it can cause a disruption that lasts for months in some cases. Businesses that keep expensive machinery can take a major financial hit if a piece of equipment is severely damaged or destroyed. Even if computers are not as expensive to replace as some items may be, the loss of data can be equally devastating. In such a case, it is helpful to have a data protection plan in place.

There is a new business continuity tool called OFB-EZ, which was designed to make it possible for even the smallest of companies to exercise disaster preparedness. The tool also makes it possible for them to weather other types of interruptions to continue business operations after a disaster. Consisting of eight modules, the program focuses on continuity preparedness, and this includes ways to reach important suppliers, directions for where to go for help and strategies for data access following a disaster. Experts encourage businesses to create a preparedness plan, keep information easy to access and inform employes about it regularly. They also say this is a key to getting back to business as quickly as possible.

There are several ways smaller businesses can protect important information and keep it from being lost forever should a disaster strike.

The following six suggestions should be practiced by all small business owners:

  1. Always back computer files up. This includes tax information, accounting records, payroll information and production records.
  2. If possible, store hard copies of all critical information offsite.
  3. Keep an updated copy of Internet login names, passwords and answers to security questions. This is also important for passwords to files, computers and other offline accounts.
  4. For equipment purchases or rentals, ask for written estimates, delivery times and shipping costs. Always list the companies on a vendor form and supplier information sheet.
  5. Make plans ahead of time with IT specialists who can install new software or replace damaged hardware quickly. It is also helpful to find specialists who can set up equipment at an alternate location if necessary.
  6. When there is a chance of flooding, it is important to have the computer equipment elevated. It should never be left on the floor.

Having adequate insurance is the key to surviving any flood or other disaster. To review an existing policy or learn more about continuity plans, discuss concerns with one of our Agents.