Articles

Protecting Your Business Against Natural Disasters

By Kim Adams

colorado-lightningPhoto © by Kim Adams

What would you miss if a tornado, lighting strike or fire hit your office today? In light of Hurricane Sandy and the wild fires in Colorado, would you be able to start your business up after a natural disaster? Could you start up your business right away or would you have to start from scratch?

Being in a tornado prone area, I am used to preparing for the worst. Here are some tips to help keep your business going after any kind of disaster.

  • Inventory items in your office with a camera. Make sure the date stamp will be on the photos. Remember to open all drawers and take pictures of their contents. Keep this information in a safety deposit box or uploaded online for easy access when your insurance company needs them. Consider doing this every year.
  • Keep credit card receipts for large purchases handy, this includes all of your computer and electronic equipment, for proof for your insurance company.
  • Make sure your insurance coverage covers all of the hardware, software, supplies and furniture in your office.
  • Backup company files with a secure online system like Sugar Sync, Box.net or even Dropbox. Back these files up daily. If you back up files on a removable hard drive for quick grab and go access, remember that if there is a disaster and you are not in your office you could lose that hard drive. Off site backup is better protection.
  • Make sure copies of your most used business documents are backed up as well so you don’t have to rewrite them.
  • Keep your access information (user names and passwords) for your off site files handy so you can get to them from any location. If you have to evacuate you can at least get to your business files.
  • Make sure you have the contact information for your insurance company, credit cards and bank so you can get back to normal faster.
  • Safety deposit boxes are not rated for very hot fires so talk with your bank to find out how protected your information would be.
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