A week ago, I called one of my vendors to obtain an answer to a question. I couldn’t figure out why her phone was rerouted to someone else’s voicemail, or why someone else within her organization was responding to her emails. After I had received a return call, I learned that the person I was trying to contact was located in Houston and is struggling with the aftermath of the recent Hurricane. However, the company she worked for had already taken measures to redirect her work and communication flow to others within the organization to assist.
The news media is full of reports on the recent hurricane, and our Operations Manager Lisa has been talking about the wildfires raging in Montana and Oregon. As thousands of people are trying to deal with being stripped away from the homes and lives they knew and are struggling to survive and find the necessities, it causes me to reflect in a moment of silence and say a little prayer for everyone affected.
How resilient are you and your business? If something as catastrophic as a hurricane, a flood or a wildfire or as frustrating as a power outage were to strike, how quickly will you be able to be back up and operational?
According to the US Department of Labor, more than 40% of businesses do not reopen after a catastrophic event. And, of those remaining, approximately 25% will close their doors within two years.
While InteleCONNECT focuses on the technology and service side of your businesses and how quickly you can get back in operation, here are 10 things to think about for a Business Continuity Plan:
- Will you still be able to take calls somehow from your employees, customers and vendors?
- Is your data protected and backed-up and how quickly can it be restored?
- Do you have an alternate power supply that can keep you going for a period of time?
- Do you have a written Business Continuity Plan in place and do others within the organization know what it is? What are the types of disasters you may encounter and how will you handle those? It is easy to think of only the natural disasters (flood, hurricanes, fire, etc), but think outside that box (computer viruses, internet/phone outages, equipment failure, etc)
- Have you done a business impact analysis? What happens if any of your key employees are not able to work (i.e. disability, military leave, or even death)? Are others able to cover for them?
- Do you have the people, facilities and assets required to achieve the four “R’s” of response, resumption, recovery and restoration?
- Do your insurance policies have adequate coverage to protect you and keep you going?
- Have you reviewed, modified or tested any of your disaster recovery plans lately?
- Do you have alternate vendors/suppliers should your primary ones not be able to deliver to your company?
- People come first! Make sure you are addressing both the physical and emotional needs of your employees, vendors and customers. Stress levels will be at their highest and it is important to make sure you are doing what you can to address their needs.
My thoughts and prayers are with my vendor and her family as they continue to put the pieces back together in Houston! I am thankful that the business she works for was able to have a Business Continuity Plan in place to allow others to fill in for her so she can focus all her energy on the community around her!
If you would like to make a donation to the assist the victim of hurricane Harvey. AMERICAN RED CROSS LINK