Humans are wonderful procrastinators. Our defense is usually: “Well, it won’t happen to me…!” And yet hardly a week goes by without news of businesses, homes, and lives that are 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 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 limited; insurance settlements, if any, can often be delayed.

Therefore, contingency or response planning – to mitigate your downtime – is all you’ve got. One basic or generic plan can work well for different situations. Will you have something ready? Or will you wing it?

Questions needing your attention

Do you have contact information for employees, customers, suppliers and recovery experts (legal, tax, insurance) that is readily accessible? From anywhere?

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 off-site? Can phones be forwarded? Do you need a VPN? 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 stay where you are for safety reasons, make sure you have adequate supplies for all employees. What else needs to be prepared? Have employees taken personal precautions?
Plans are critical and need to be tested and trained! Your staff learns by doing and practicing – not just reading.


Check out additional resources and planning tips at –

SF72 – San Francisco’s hub for emergency preparedness –

FEMA’s Ready Disaster Plan

The Insurance Institute’s Open For Business (OFB) website –

Download their Business Continuity Toolkit here:

Operation Emergency Prepare – valuable checklists for home and office:

AARP’s grab-and-go bag

RiskSmart Tip – Disasters – 10 Ways to be prepared

Call or email Charles (510-685-3883 if you need a clarifying, no-obligation discussion about how to get this done. There’s never a charge for brainstorming!

RiskSmart Solutions can help you if you need assistance.