Business Continuity Planning: Are You Prepared if Disaster Strikes?

Business Continuity Planning

From fires to floods, earthquakes to tornadoes, disaster can strike anytime, anywhere, and often with little to no advance warning.

Try to imagine the challenges your business would face in the wake of a natural disaster. It’s scary to even consider. Now here’s something even scarier: A relatively minor fire or flood that forces you to shut down operations carries many of the same challenges as a natural disaster. Your commercial property insurance policy should help you rebuild your physical infrastructure, but are you equipped to deal with lost revenue and mounting expenses while you work to restore operations?

The difference between surviving a business interruption and going belly-up often hinges on one factor: preparation. The best way to prevent a disaster from putting the future of your business at risk is to have proper business continuity planning in place.

Business continuity planning involves:

  • Defining potential risks
  • Determining how those risks will affect operations
  • Implementing safeguards and procedures designed to mitigate those risks
  • Testing those procedures to ensure that they work
  • Periodically reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date

Start the process by establishing a team tasked with commencing your business continuity planning.

Typical goals of business continuity planning include:

  • Protecting the safety of employees, visitors, contractors and others at risk from hazards at the facility
  • Maintaining customer service by minimizing interruptions or disruptions of business operations
  • Protecting facilities, physical assets and electronic information
  • Preventing environmental contamination
  • Protecting your organization’s brand, image and reputation

The business continuity planning process should take an “all hazards” approach. The probability that a specific hazard will impact your business is hard to determine – that’s why it’s important to consider many different threats and hazards and the likelihood they will occur.

Implementing your business continuity plan means more than simply exercising the plan during an emergency. It means acting on recommendations made during the hazard analysis, integrating the plan into company operations, training employees and evaluating the plan on an ongoing basis. It is important to conduct a formal audit of the entire plan at least once a year to help identify any factors that may necessitate changes, such as updated regulations or new hazards.

Contact an ALIGNED Insurance Advocate to discuss how we can assist with your business continuity planning needs today.

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