A few weeks ago, El Niño storms were lashing the west coast and the last week was the turn of the west coast. These events are common and predictions are that they will get worse over the coming years.

If you manage or own a business, storm damage worry must be a constant companion the last couple of weeks. Those that have prepared for the worst with proper Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning know what they have to do to ride the storms out. Those that have not planned must have scrambled.

You can be sure, more such disasters will be coming down the pike. Use these events as the impetus to initiate disaster recovery and business continuity planning. While the challenge may seem formidable, it really is not.

Begin the planning process by forming a BCDR planning team. The team should be a blend of management and non-management employees. Make sure you have experienced people on the team too.

When advising businesses on how to begin, I always suggest they start with the worst disaster they experienced. Try to remember the chaos, and the actions that were taken to mitigate the disaster. Based on this think about what effect a natural disaster will have on your business. Employee and property safety, critical business processes, recovery efforts should all be discussed and after the initial period of “brain storming” a period of rational plan formulation will begin. Planning should be carried out for all possible natural and man-made disasters that could potentially disrupt the business.

After a plan is formulated, it is best to discuss it with employees and get their inputs. Employee involvement in planning helps the acceptance part of the plan and execution will be better. Take employee inputs, discuss them and incorporate them if the suggestions are useful.

Once a plan is completed, it is essential that drills be conducted which will expose plan deficiencies. Fine tuning the plan is much easier during drills than during an actual disaster.

Do not wait for the next event to start planning. Start now.   Good luck.

Snowstorm Disrupts the East Coast – Was Your Business Prepared?