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Getting Your Business Up And Running After A Disaster

2013 November 29
by Contributor

puzzle-elementsWith Hurricane Sandy and the tornadoes in the Midwest, disaster recovery for businesses and homes alike has become an important topic in the news.

As a business owner, knowing what to do before and after the disaster can help speed up the process of getting your business back up and running.  Whether you are checking in with team members to assess how they faired or you seek the services of satellite internet providers, you’ll need a plan to get back to work on time.

Assess the Damage of Your Office

If your office happens to be in the disaster area, after the area has been cleared, it’s important that you head to the site to assess the damage before you expect anyone to come in and work.  You’ll want to bring in an inspector, a representative of your insurance company, and the building manager with you in order to get a sense of the repairs that will need to be done and just how quickly they can be done.

Check In With Team Members

Before you even consider asking people to come back in to work, it is always a good idea to get a sense of how everyone made out during the disaster.  Your human resources representative should have emergency contacts for each of your employees and should be able to get employees in contact with any emergency services that they may need.  This will also help you get a sense of when you can expect your team members to realistically come back to work.  Decide who are necessary personnel and who can do their job via telecommunication.  This can relieve some of the stress on your employees if they have their own recovery at home.

Establish a Timetable of Expectations

Depending on how much damage was done to your office, getting your office back to full functionality may take time and may not come back all at once.  For example, you may have to spend a certain amount of time at a temporary office site while yours is being repaired.  Assess the recovery process and measure out a realistic timetable to get back to a business status quo.  Have your office manager or human resources representative send out a company-wide e-mail detailing the recovery process and when they can expect to come back to work.

Get Utilities Back to Fully Functioning

One of the major issues with disaster recovery is getting back your utilities.  During the recovery process, for example, you may experience rolling blackouts that can make doing business difficult, if not impossible.  Have a backup plan, like a backup generator for electricity needs or rent a portable toilet in case your water services have not come back fully.  It is also a good idea to seek out an alternative to your Internet provider if your online connectivity has taken a hit in consistency.  A satellite Internet provider can get you back online and would be disaster proof in the future.

Assess the Recovery and Make Adjustments For Next Time

Once your office is back to full strength, you should take the time to make a formal assessment on the recovery process.  It is a good idea to identify how prepared you and your company was in the situation, how business was affected and what could be done differently in order to make sure that things run smoother in the future.

You may not be able to prepare for any and all disasters that can come your way, but having an idea of what you will do can be half the battle.

Jacob has been a business writer for three years.  Prior to his writing, he spent time as an office manager in the Little Rock area.

Images: shutterstock.com

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