The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awards grants and aid to communities and businesses trying to clean up and recover after a disaster, but this assistance doesn't always arrive in a timely fashion, or cover all the expenses of business resumption. Rather than relying on FEMA to get you back up and running, make sure you have a clear continuity of operations plan to do the job.
FEMA aid goes to those who need it most, which means if a large number of businesses and people are affected by a crisis, not everyone gets what they need from the help. For businesses, this can be as hurtful as it is helpful, getting part of the way there but still struggling with damage systems, office space or relocated employees. Often, repairs and recovery efforts have to be funded out of pocket and submitted to state officials for FEMA funds to be released as well, forcing businesses to cover the expense themselves anyway.
In order to bypass this system and return to operations swiftly and under your own power, it is essential to develop a complete business continuity strategy. The right planning will go a long way toward ensuring immediate business resumption or having a backup plan in place should your primary work site be too damaged. Some aspects to include in your plan are:
Data recovery – Having a proper data backup and recovery strategy is growing more important as businesses rely on this vital resource more extensively.
Hot site – An alternative location to work from is also highly beneficial should fires or floods destroy your offices or make them temporarily uninhabitable.
Funding – Business recovery efforts can't begin without the proper funding to launch a project. Having money earmarked for continuity needs will support companies through any contingency.
Ensure these factors are all in place with highly-skilled business continuity consultants to review your strategy.