Planning on a Disaster?

Humans are wonderful procrastinators. Our knee-jerk defense is, “Well, it won’t happen to me…!” And yet hardly a week goes by without news of businesses and homes destroyed by wildfires, floods, tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes.

Prepare for survival

We can’t prevent natural disasters, but it’s not hard to prepare for survival. Large-scale losses like these mean you will be on your own for days or weeks. How long is too long for your business? Government assistance is known to be slow and quite limited; and insurance settlements, if any, will certainly be delayed.

So contingency or response planning – to mitigate your down-time – is all you’ve got. One basic or generic plan can work well for different contingencies. Are you going to have something ready? Or will you wing it?

Questions needing your attention

  • Do you have readily accessible (from anywhere) contact information for employees, customers, suppliers and recovery experts (legal, tax, insurance)?
  • Are your business-critical processes written down step-by-step so anyone can follow? Have at least two employees been cross-trained in each of these critical tasks?
  • Can employees work securely from off-site? Have you tested it recently?
  • Where’s your data – on a disc or USB drive or in the cloud? Is it really accessible?  Have you tested it recently?
  • If you need to shelter in place, do you have adequate supplies for all employees?  What else needs to be prepared? Have employees taken personal precautions?


Call me (510-685-3883) or email  ( if you need clarifying, no-obligation discussion about how to get this done. RiskSmart Solutions can help if you need assistance.

And, of course, if you have other resources to share please let me know and I’ll pass them along.


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One Comment

  1. Charles T. Wilson November 11, 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Corri DiBagno offered this comment and another great story: “Another thought provoking Risk Smart Tip regarding disaster planning.
    “I recall a situation that involved a manufacturing risk located near the Delaware River. This company had signed various lease agreements with an alternative location should an “event” take place.
    Indeed, Hurricane Irene rolled through the area and the Delaware crested nearly 20 feet above normal levels. Our insured moved quickly to their alternative site only to learn a local governmental entity had “claimed ” the property under a FEMA contract and took occupancy,leaving our insured out of luck!!
    Fortunately, the insured had a “plan B” and moved most of their operation into another warehouse facility. Their down time was mitigated by their Plan B site otherwise they would have been out for months instead of days!The lesson,make sure your contingent site does not have contractual agreements with govt. entities!”
    Thanks, Corri for a “real” example of planning.

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