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HOME::Management Tips

Top 7 Ways To Prevent Business Disasters

By Meredith L. Keller

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  1. Create a virtual disaster team within your company. A virtual disaster team is the best way to gather information and perspective which is essential in preparing an effective disaster prevention and recovery plan. Proper disaster planning requires information from all perspectives of your company as well as outside sources. Sole proprietors, coaches,and consultants should seek help from friends and associates in viewing their business operations from all perspectives.

  2. Conduct a complete inventory of all your assets. Be sure to include all equipment, furnishings, supplies and inventory. Then augment your written inventory with still photographs and/or videotape of all areas.

  3. Protect your equipment by moving mission-critical equipment away from doors and windows where they can be damaged by debris, wind or water during a storm. Protect major industrial or production equipment, office machines, computers, peripherals and accessories from dust, dirt, debris, moisture and power fluctuations. Install surge suppressors and uninterruptible power sources. Use equipment covers to protect from water leaks from overhead pipes and facilities. And move equipment, documents, supplies and inventory out of basements and other areas of your facility subject to flooding.

  4. Identify records that are vital to your business operation, and store copies of these records offsite. Implement a records management program and standard office procedures for handling electronic files and paper documents. Establish and enforce a computer data backup system.

  5. Seek legal counsel on contracts and agreements. Entering into any type of agreement, contract, lease, proposal or signing any document you have not read or you do not fully understand is an open invitation to business disaster. Don't try to "Go it alone!"

  6. Meet with your insurance agent, consultant or advisor and determine your insurance needs. Go over your policy statements and make sure you understand types of coverage, coverage limits, exclusions and deductible amounts.

  7. Prepare your workplace for disaster by collecting and removing trash, rubbish and debris inside and outside your facility. Clean your roof, gutters, downspouts and drainage ditches. Perform a physical inspection of your business and look for potential security, fire and electrical wiring hazards. Develop an orderly evacuation procedure which takes into account any persons with disabilities. Also establish a primary and a secondary evacuation route from your facility.

Submitted by Meredith L. Keller, Executive Director of the Disaster Prevention & Recovery Alliance, and can be reached at , or visited on the web at DPRA can help you protect the business you've worked so hard to build.


Article Submitted On: August 01, 1998