It’s Severe Weather Season… Do You Have A Disaster Plan?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Perhaps it’s just me, but this spring has been one of the worst I can remember in terms of severe weather. The flooding and tornadoes we’re seeing around the country should serve as a wake-up call for small business owners to review their business continuity plan.

A disaster recovery plan prepares a business to deal with disaster scenarios such as fi res or tornadoes that disrupt the business’s operations.

Although larger companies create such plans as a standard operating procedure, small businesses tend not to do this type of planning.

In fact, according to Symantec’s 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey, only 50% of small businesses have a plan in place for a disaster or data loss.

Your disaster plan serves two purposes. First, the plan should limit the financial impact a manmade or natural disaster has on your company.

Second, the plan should establish the steps you will take to begin operating again quickly following a disaster. Developing the plan and making employees aware of it helps protect your business and mitigate risk.

Plans should name specific employees that will play key roles in the event of a disaster, and identify critical assignments that each employee must complete in a disaster scenario.

Finally, the plan should focus on keeping your company’s irreplaceable data safe. That data includes customer information, email correspondence, sales information and accounting and financial records.

Most businesses our size don’t have the resources to implement redundant office locations, but the plan should include a strategy operating at an alternate location.

The resources needed to resume operations within 24 hours of a disaster may differ from those needed to resume operations within three to four days. The plan should call for the minimum set of resources possible to meet the established targets.

We’ve put together in a free report that will help guide you through the planning process – from assessing the risks to setting up in a new location. The report is free – simply call the office at (734) 457-5000, or email for your copy.