We’ve all watched Hurricane Ian make landfall in the United States twice, wreaking havoc in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, knocking more than 2.5 million people out of power and causing harrowing, incomprehensible damage.
Florida has never seen a storm surge of this magnitude. Governor DeSantis called it “basically a 500-year flood event.” Fort Myers Beach and nearby communities were flattened by a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.
Estimates of damage from Hurricane Ian continue to climb as the official death toll continues to climb. A recent CNBC estimate put the total at $47 billion.
Such natural disasters underscore the need for all businesses to have business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place to ensure rapid recovery. FEMA estimates that 40 percent of businesses without such a plan will never recover from such a disaster. And then for those who did, only 29% were still operating two years later.
Having such a plan and having proper coverage for property damage and business interruption insurance can help ensure that you can successfully reopen your business one day.
Will your business recover if a natural or man-made disaster occurs the second you read this article? Are you ready? What will be your first call? Does your phone work?
In my career as a security and risk management professional, I’ve constantly questioned and addressed business owners’ disaster recovery plans, because if you’re not going to recover, then you’re likely planning to go out of business.
After an event like this, many business owners don’t even know where to start. Is their information stored somewhere in the cloud, or is it washed or blown away during a disaster? How are you going to manage your people and they will even come back to work for you after you rebuild for about 2 years, but more importantly, will your customers or competitors fill the void when you turn the wheel?
If you make a product, how often can you find, buy, and ship the special equipment or supplies needed to make the product? Will you restore energy in time, or will you need to find a backup generator? How soon and how will you find fuel for these generators?
Maybe you survived this disaster, but did your customers, suppliers or suppliers have? Do you have alternate suppliers, do you have their contact information, and how long does it take for supply chain issues to receive such supplies? If you are still operational, how will you connect and communicate with your employees or customers?
All of these questions need to be answered, and contingencies need to be developed, and you may not even have a roof when making them. That’s why your business needs to have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place to answer such questions before such a disaster occurs. Developing a DRP takes time and can’t be done in days, but a good disaster recovery plan should have the following:
direction and control
• Corporate Mission Statement
• Emergency Continuity Policy
• Emergency Management Team
• Incident Commander
• Team processes and procedures
• Incident Commander Workflow
• Emergency Operations Center
• emergency communications
• Confidentiality requirements
• Organization Chart
• Client list with names and contacts
• Utility provider information and account numbers
• Supplier and equipment provider information
• Evacuation plan
• Assembly and accountability
• employee training
• Home preparation
• Property protection
• Protection System
• Facility closed
• record keeping
• Building information
• Community outreach
• Mutual assistance agreement
• Public information
• Media response
• Local emergency information
recovery and recovery
• Procurement, logistics and distribution
• Product and service development
• Marketing, Sales and Customer Accounts
• Customer and after-sales service
• General administration and company infrastructure
• human resource Management
• Technology and process development
• Implementation and maintenance
• Integrate planning into company operations
• Business Interruption Insurance
• Do drills and exercises
• Staff training
• Annual program audit
It is important to know that after a disaster, the National Guard and FEMA may come to save you and your family, but they will not be able to save your business. In fact, natural disasters grab headlines and national attention in the short term, but recovery and rebuilding is long-term, and having a DRP will certainly make it a lot easier.
As a species, we have somehow survived ice ages big and small, famines, plagues, world wars, and various natural disasters, but the question remains, can your business survive? We can’t prevent natural disasters from happening, but we can arm ourselves with enough knowledge and preparation, and your business may be one of the lucky ones.
Safe my friends!