Benchmark Business Group

Hurricane Sandy: How to prepare for the best outcome

October 8, 2012

We are thinking of our clients that are facing the complications brought on by Hurricane Sandy.  We hope that those of you impacted are hunkered down and safe.  This storm obviously has the potential to impact all of us as travel and suppliers are impacted.  While you might not be in the direct path of the storm we encourage thinking and preparing for the ways that your business might be impacted.  Preparing for a natural disaster is hard on a personal level, but as business owners you have more complications to deal with than the average person.   Preparedness and communication with customers, employees, and vendors is often the key to surviving a natural disaster.  Whether you are impacted by Sandy or not, below are our “Air Force One” tips on being prepared and keeping in communication during business interruptions. 

Offsite Computer Backup - You want to make sure that you have a full back up of your computer in a safe, secure location.   There are several cloud computing solutions that are available for this, such as Carbonite.  In addition to having a full back up it is important and not too late to create access to information that your business will need in case you cannot conduct business from your office or business location.  If you do not have access to an external drive consider using Drop Box or Google Drive.  Both have free accounts that will allow you to securely access important “must have” documents from anywhere with an internet connection.  Information that you will need quick access to includes:

  • Copies of your calendar
  • Contact information for employees, vendors, and customers
    • Insurance information
    • Bank account numbers
    • All information under No Electricity below

No Electricity - You need to be prepared for a lack of electricity by printing off any documents and contact information you will need.  Helpful items for you and your employees to print off include:

  • Your Calendar for the next two weeks
  • A list of contact information for:
    • Employees (also obtain their personal emails if possible)
    • Customers (you’re top level clients and any that you are scheduled to meet in the next two – three weeks)
    • Vendors
  • Insurance Agent contact information
  • Any pending orders
  • Delivery tracking numbers for orders and schedules
  • List for all employees of any accountabilities they have to clients including who and what has been promised

Business Interruption Messages - While Sandy is making news across the world, it is also important for your business to have a personal touch with your customers, employees, and vendors letting them know that you are in an area that may be impacted.  Consider releasing information to these groups by:

  • Changing your voicemail and out of office email - communicate that you are in an area impacted and provide directions on best ways to stay up to date with your company,
  • Social media and email blast - Before the storm, send out a message letting your customers and vendors know how this might impact them.  Direct them on where to get more information on your business operations as time passes, such as, “Please check out our Facebook page for updates.  We will update as the situation develops and as electricity allows.”  Make sure that you include a link to the page you will be updating.  During and after the storm, you will want to continue to send information as you can.  Don’t put yourself in danger, but posting pictures and updates as they occur is a good way to continue to keep your clients and vendors in the loop as your situation unfolds.

Emergency Communication Groups - Communication is often difficult in the aftermath of a disaster.  Prepare ahead of time to let your employees, vendors, and customers know the method you will use to communicate with them.  Social media groups on Google or Facebook can be a great way for people to get up to date information.  Obviously a lack of electricity can impact this, but give people a place to go to get information when electricity is back up and running.  If you don’t have your employees set up in an emergency communication group consider setting one up now.  We have mentioned Google plus and Google groups, but as Sandy is coming ashore consider at least getting personal emails of employees today.

This only scratches the surface of what is needed to be prepared for a natural disaster, but is a great first step especially if you are in the path of Sandy.  Our thoughts are with those that are impacted by Sandy.  Remember, that even if you are not in the direct path of the storm, your customers, vendors, and employees may be impacted due to having  family and friends in the areas hit by the storm.  For those of us not immediately impacted, use this time to make sure that all you are thinking about taking the steps necessary to prepare your business today for emergencies that might happen tomorrow.  Be prepared and stay safe!

Emergency Business Interruption Checklist

 

Offsite Computer Backup

  • Full offsite back up of computer
  • Quick access to needed information such as:
  • Copies of your calendar
  • Contact information for employees, vendors, and customers
  • Insurance information
  • Bank account numbers

No Electricity -

  • Your Calendar for the next two weeks
  • A list of contact information for:
  • Employees (also obtain their personal emails if possible)
  • Customers (you’re top level clients and any that you are schedule to meet within the next two weeks)
  • Vendors
  • Insurance Agent contact information
  • Any pending orders
  • Delivery schedules and tracking numbers
  • List for all employees of any accountabilities they have to clients including who and what has been promised

Business Interruption Messages

  • Change Voicemail
  • Set Out of Office email
  • Send a Before Storm what to expect message
  • Send updates as possible
  • Send an After Storm what to expect message

Emergency Communication Groups –

  • Set up a groups for customers, vendors, employees
  • Get employees personal emails and phone numbers

« Back

Receive Business Owner Insights by email

© 2019 Benchmark Business Group. All rights reserved.