From the deadliest Caribbean earthquake to Australia’s bushfires to heavy torrential rains that triggered mudslides and floods in Indonesia to storms in America’s Deep South, natural disasters have greeted us from the beginning of 2020 – which not only impacts individuals but also national economy and businesses, including startups.
According to CNN Business, natural disasters have cost the world around $150 billion in 2019 and it is expected to increase due to natural catastrophes with direct links to climate change. Therefore, it should be warned to all businesses that having a disaster emergency plan is a must.
Build an emergency plan
Every business, be it SME or large companies, should have pre-preparation planning for an emergency. The plan would determine whether your business will survive or tumble after a natural disaster. Make sure to include the following points in your pre-planning program.
- Business documents – keep a record of your business onsite and offsite as backup data. Encrypt and secure the data in the best way possible.
- Secure the space – identify the most to the least frequent disaster that occurs in your business area. This will help you identify what kind of action should be taken beforehand.
- Contact your insurance company – If your business has its own financial security, ask what kind of plan would be available when your business is hit by natural disaster. This can help you recover financially.
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During the natural disaster
What you need to prioritise when a natural disaster hit is your employees, customers, and stakeholders. Keep your communication as alive as possible and stay connected until your business can restore from the ground.
Disaster recovery goals
Disaster recovery goal is to restore normal community activities that were disrupted by disaster through a process involving both activities that were planned before the disaster and those that were improvised after that. Disaster recovery is most rapidly and effectively achieved when communities engage in a pre-impact planning process that addresses the major recovery functions and incorporates hazard mitigation and hazard insurance into a recovery operations plan, said Michael Lindell in his study. Make sure to include the following points.
- Reach out to the in-house community (employees) to discuss and give support and empathy because during the disaster support will help rebuild business faster and stronger.
- Recheck your infrastructure and data – office break-ins and vandalism might occur during a major disaster. Make sure you revisit your company’s backup and building infrastructure. Learn whether everything is there or is missing. If there is something missing and it belongs to customer’s data, you might have a legal requirement to notify customers.
- Call for help – use your online presence to help both your business and community. You can update your online store with current product or service, notifying your recovery efforts while supporting communities around you. This way, you can make both sales to help you rebuild and get a good online presence among communities.
Update the disaster plan
After you recover and are starting to rebuild your business, you might want to reassess your operations and see if there are some ways to expand your business model. This would require every channel, such as online, offline, inbound marketing, email marketing, etc. While doing this, you should also reassess your natural disaster recovery plan in order to avoid any vulnerability that might occur in the future when another disaster happens.
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