Natural disaster prep varies for small businesses

Natural disaster prep varies for small businesses

During Hurricane Sandy, small businesses were more heavily affected than major corporations in New Jersey. With nearly $8 billion in estimated losses along the state coast, 19,000 SMBs felt the brunt of the hurricane's force – and hurricanes aren't the only force of nature that firms have to prepare for.

When it comes to business continuity planning, small businesses have different needs than larger companies. For one, big businesses often have multiple locations to fall back on, while small firms rely on a single storefront or office. Furthermore, SMBs often believe that they don't have the budget for cloud storage to protect their data and disaster recovery planning to prepare them for a storm. However, there is still plenty that local companies can do to prepare for a storm, fire, earthquake or tornado. Some steps are as follows:

Assess – Preparedness assessment is the first thing any firm should do when considering business continuity. A proper assessment of operations and the risks a company faces will help outline business resumption needs. 

Create a strategy and teach it to employees – The first consideration in any crisis is the safety and wellbeing of employees. Developing a strategy and ensuring that workers know it will help get them out of harm's way quickly and efficiently.

Invest in a hot site Having a hot site available – a location where operations can resume in an emergency – is essential for a business continuity plan. Companies with a hot site experience less downtime and are able to start delivering service sooner to customers, many of whom were likely also affected by the disaster.

The right disaster plan is critical for successfully navigating stormy waters, and small businesses need a good strategy even more so than their larger counterparts.