National Preparadness Month Journal #1- Office Nightmare

I talk to a lot of business owners of all types. You’d be amazed at all business owners housed in office buildings that take lightly any calamity that might displace their operations. They don’t think it will happen to them. Here’s a real life case study that happened to one of my clients just last week…

Here is my client’s account…

The building was being reroofed.  Roofers goofed and left a hole above the shaft which houses mechanical rooms on each of the 5 floors. After a big rain Tuesday night, all electric and phone panels serving the building and tenants were fried. The building is uninhabitable until replacement of electric and phone panels, plus there is other water damage near the shaft, such as our conference room, and we won’t know status of HVAC until we have power to the building. All tenants are out.  We have moved our computer system off-site and everyone is working remotely. Estimated time for re-occupancy might be 12-14 days. What a mess.  My home is now my office.  This has been a great character building experience.”

What’s your plan for 25 employees if something like this happened to you? You might not be the building owner, but all of a sudden, your entire operation is out on the street. Here are a few things most people don’t think about:

  • Answering service issues
  • Files and documents left behind that are unable to retrieve
  • Access to critical records
  • Accessibility to clients
  • Lost time dealing with the issue (this might just be the most damaging as you can’t replace it)

Crisis happens daily in business and most of it doesn’t hit the local media, much less CNN. Can you answer the question I posed earlier…

What do you do with _____ employees if your building is uninhabitable?

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

5 Ways to Bounce Back Quickly after Disaster

I was just interviewed for a magazine article on what steps businesses can take to bounce back quickly after a disaster like a fire, flood, or tornado. Here was my umbrella_riskresponse…

  1. Have a crisis/disaster recovery plan in place BEFORE the disaster. Too many businesses simply don’t know what to do in the aftermath because they never planned. Making decisions in real-time is usually a bad thing. The ability to bounce back quickly is directly related to how prepared you are.
  2. Having a strong communication plan in place that is set up to reach employees, supply chain, customers, and community is essential. The quicker and more effectively you can reach people, the quicker you will recover. This is part of the planning.
  3. Have a backup location to go to in the event your building is unusable.
  4. Have strong redundancy for technology and power. Most businesses cannot survive without those two things for very long. They need to have secondary and tertiary plans for both.
  5. Have adequate insurance. Insurance must be reviewed at a minimum of an annual basis. Too often, they policy has become obsolete and the time this has been discovered is at the time of the calamity.

 

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

VIDEO – Episode #5 – Crisis Management Brainstorming Ideas

This is a 10-part video series I recently created for Chron, which is the online version for the Houston Chronicle. The topic surrounds crisis planning and disaster recovery for small business. The questions and topics were raised by readers of Chron. There really is no order to the videos; they each deal with a different topic in this area. This is of vital importance for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Executives and small business owners should focus on these strategies to assure sustainable operations and revenue. I will feature a new video daily for the next 10 days.

Video #5 – Crisis Management Brainstorming Ideas

Crisis Management Brainstorming Ideas