Human Resources News & Insights

‘It won’t happen here’: Why you need disaster-recovery plans


The more you think about the potential “disasters” that could strike your company — ranging from a broken water pipe to a terrorist attack — the more you realize a recovery plan is a good idea, especially since it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

A new book, “The Wall Street Journal Complete Small Business Guidebook,” lays out the three essentials every company should cover to be prepared for — and to recover from — a disaster:

Review insurance policies. Your company probably already has property insurance to cover the cost of replacing damaged or destroyed equipment or buildings. How about business-interruption insurance, which covers lost income in the event the business is forced to shut down temporarily?

Develop a contingency plan, including one in case disaster strikes a vendor. Come up with a list of backup vendors or suppliers. Consider alternative work sites so that you can keep operating if disaster strikes your company. Keep a list of 24-hour emergency numbers for all your employees, and develop a quick and efficient way of keeping employees informed.

Back up data. Make backup copies of all critical records, such as accounting and employee data, customer lists, production formulas and inventory. Keep that information in a separate location — the farther away, the better —  or subscribe to a online data backup service provider.

Take a look at the Small Business Administration disaster-recovery Web page, which offers more links and assistance in putting together a plan.

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  • Daniel Feser

    disaster planning for archives and records centers involves everything from buying supplies and equipment that protect documents from fire and flood damage, to plotting the nearest escape routes;

    it is always wise to discuss your disaster plan with all your employees so that everyone is on the same page when the ship hits the sand…

    ask the reference librarian in your library to see the library’s disaster plan for some great ideas on how to preserve valuable items and/or documents from destruction!

  • Joyce

    The Army Corps of Engineers are planning controlled flooding in my area this year due to faults in our local Dam. Homeowners and businesses alike have been having a terrible time obtaining flood insurance. The insurance companies are aware of what is planned, and do not want to take on the liabilities unless people are willing to pay much higher than normal premiums. I have even seen home made signs offering sand bagging services.
    My home is too high up on a hill to be in the affected area, but my office is in a direct path of where the flooding will be at it’s worst. Looks like I’ll be working from home for part of the coming season. I don’t know what our neighbors here in the valley will be doing, but I hope everyone gets through this mess okay.

  • Jo

    Joyce, I hope the Army Corp of Engineers is better at controlled flooding than the Forest Service is at controlled burns!