Natural disasters can strike at any time. Taking a cue from the Boy Scouts, some simple yet effective advice is to “Be Prepared.” Outages common during natural disasters point out the need for advance planning to ensure the continuity of your business. The recent tragedies in Texas and Florida resulting from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma brought about widespread flooding, power, water and communications outages and disruptions to road and transport networks leading to staff attendance shortfalls. Other parts of the nation are vulnerable to disasters as well such as mudslides, fires and earthquakes on the west coast, blizzards in the north and east, and tornados in the Midwest.
In the face of all this, we must recognize that people depend upon receiving their pay regardless of what may be happening in your physical location…payroll must go out. Your temp and contract placements may be remote from the area directly affected by the disaster and will likely continue to work unimpeded while they watch the disaster unfold on the news. You must plan ahead for the day when your business operations are threatened so that you can respond in a manner that ensures continuity of service to your clients.
Having a back-up plan includes several facets. Being able to work remotely is important if you are forced to evacuate your main location. You should think ahead to determine several options for remote operation should the need arise. The remote site you select should have a high likelihood of having the necessary utilities and services available in the event of disruption at your main location. Don’t depend on trying to find a safe haven at the last second or during an evacuation as you will be competing with many others hoping to escape the disaster’s impact. Play mental what-if games to imagine what disastrous events might likely impact your area and brainstorm possible responses. Conduct an annual drill with your staff to rehearse your company’s response to an emergency. Practicing how you will deal with an emergency is an important step in your pre-planning as it will increase the likelihood that your business will continue with minimal interruption in the face of calamity. Letting your clients know that you have a thought-out emergency preparedness plan in place will increase their confidence in your ability to serve their needs.
Important documents and information should be frequently backed up and kept in a secure location. Cloud services offer handy and robust means of keeping your data safe and available. Critical information includes account numbers, passwords, contact information, specific account data, reports, and other information necessary for the continued operation of your business. Having a third-party partner for back-office services provides increased security that payroll will go out, lessening the burden on you and freeing you up to look out for your personal safety.
These recommendations easily apply to many disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms, fires, and earthquakes. Learn from recent events…it can happen to you! Follow these guidelines and BE PREPARED…FOR TEMP AND CONTRACT PLACEMENTS!