3 Factors to Proactive Recovery
Disaster recovery and restoration for businesses and organizations is not all that different from a community’s recovery. In fact, as we have stated in previous blog posts, community resilience is directly correlated with the continuity plans of its private sector. That being said, the recovery focus for businesses is geared more to resumption of services, and as such, the disaster recovery bottom line for businesses is to keep personnel employed and normal operations running – hopefully without much time lost at all.
There are three critical factors that play into your organization’s ability to resume normal operations following an emergency. They are:
Planning Considerations –Now is the time to execute the business continuity / disaster preparedness plan you have worked so hard to develop. Your team has identified the critical-operations and systems that must be brought on-line. Put all that practice into action and follow your plan. While you are doing so, make sure to document the process by taking photographs and videotape of the damage. This will be helpful both for insurance purposes and for future recovery efforts. If the damage is far more severe that you had accounted for, consider making contractual arrangements with vendors for post-emergency services such as record preservation and equipment repair.
Continuity of Management –Assume that not all key personnel will be readily available immediately following the disaster. Ensure that the recovery process is executed flawlessly by establishing a chain of command that can transition authority seamlessly. Establishing authority is a key component to any disaster recovery plan for this very reason. Your plan has already established clear procedures and protocol for:
- Assuring the chain of command
- Maintain lines of succession for key personnel
- Moving to alternate headquarters
Insurance Policies – Most companies discover that they are not properly insured only after they have suffered the devastating loss of a disaster. Lack of appropriate insurance can be financially devastating and is the single greatest deterrent to reestablishing normal business operations in a timely manner. Accordingly, insurance providers must be included in any disaster preparedness / business continuity plans. Pertinent questions to ask insurance providers include:
- How will my property be valued?
- Is my property up to standards and codes? How will this effect my policy?
- How much insurance am I required carrying to avoid becoming a co-insurer?
- What causes of loss does my policy cover?
- What are my deductibles?
- What does my policy require me to do in the event of a loss?
- What types of records and documentation will you need to see? (Ask yourself: are records in a safe place where they can be obtained securely after a disaster?)
- Am I covered for lost income in the event of business interruption because of loss? How long is coverage provided for? How long is my coverage for lost income if my business is closed by order of a civil authority?
- To what extent am I covered for reduced income due to customers’ inability to return to my business following a disaster?
- How will my emergency management program influence my rates?
After an emergency, immediately assess the impact of the disaster on business neighbors and the community. Remember, as a business leader you are also a community leader, and while you should never overstep your authority in your community’s disaster recovery efforts, you appropriate actions will have long-lasting effects.