We live in an imperfect world. Amidst the beauty of nature are hidden dangers. They come and go but they are a part of our lives. From seasonal hurricanes to tornadoes and earthquakes that take everyone by surprise, we can never tell when disasters will strike nor can we avoid them 100%. And as such, disaster preparedness is a must to ensure everyone stays safe in the face of calamities.
What’s equally important is what we do in its aftermath. Disaster recovery enables everyone to pick up from where they left before disaster struck and help the community recover and rebuild their lives. There will be losses and it is expected. From human lives to crops and properties, these losses can amount to millions of dollars. With the help of disaster recovery, the community will be able to regain the losses or even start from scratch with the help of people both near and far.
The Small Business Administration is now offering economic injury disaster loans to small businesses, small ag cooperatives and nonprofit organizations in Payette and Washington counties.
“These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period,” an SBA said, helping those businesses meet financial obligations “that cannot be
met as a direct result of the disaster.”
Fixed-interest rates for the loans are determined by specific formulas, with a maximum of 4 percent, the agency said, and 30 years being the maximum length of time for which the loans can be approved.
Aside from personal losses, entrepreneurs lose more especially when physical stores or shops are likewise affected. The store itself may be damaged including goods and equipment inside. Other times, businesses face a different type of disaster. Disaster recovery means different things in our modern digital world. The best way to prepare is to formulate your own business continuity plan for the very purpose of continuing your business in the aftermath of a major disaster, whether natural or man-made.
Of course, as a business owner, it’s not just malicious attacks and incompetence you need to worry about. There are many other risks to business data and continuity. One of our clients was recently affected by a large scale fire at their physical location. Thankfully they had only recently deployed a new cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system which meant that crucially their business infrastructure was barely affected, as staff could log in to their account from any location with internet access and a device. From a disaster recovery perspective, they were covered, since all their IT “stuff” was hosted in the cloud. Here are some top tips to ensure your business continuity plans have integrity. There is no one “perfect” plan for disaster recovery. Every business is unique so ensure your plan reflects the uniqueness of the business. Consider making more than one plan. After all, there is more than one kind of threat. From natural disasters to manmade threats and cyber-attacks, each carries its own risk which might need to be considered individually. Make sure you deal with all three measures – detective, preventative and corrective. Your plan should aim to swiftly identify risks and have some mitigating steps which ought to prevent disaster – for example, keep your data off site or in the cloud; hold regular training sessions for staff; use up to date fire safety equipment (how long has it been since you recharged your fire extinguishers?)
Identify who will be responsible in the event of a disaster. Create a team of experts who are well briefed and can be quickly mobilised in the event of any kind of large scale disruption. If possible, get them to contribute to the plan. Sense check all your insurance policies. Some insurers will cover things such as business downtime but will look favourably on businesses who have mitigated the risk of downtime.
Businesses constantly worry about cyber security especially that almost everything and everyone has gone online now. Times have changed, indeed, and everyone should adapt and learn to protect themselves from the new threats in their environment. Since businesses have a lot to lose, it pays to have a disaster recovery plan for both threats from natural disasters and cyber attacks.
Come up with a disaster plan and test it. Your plan is of no use if it does not work in real life. If you find loopholes, keep on modifying it until you are confident that it can help you bounce back faster and with minimal losses. While your personal experience is the best teacher, you can likewise learn from the mistakes and experience of others, especially if your business is in the same industry. That way, you can avoid making the same mistakes and improve your disaster preparedness early on without being the sacrificial lamb.