Nobody likes to think about worst case scenarios. There’s nothing fun or comforting about imagining the worst. But, sometimes it is necessary to make sure if the worst does happen, you will be prepared.
As a small business owner, do you have an emergency preparedness plan? If you answered ‘no’, don’t panic. Here are some things from the Insurance Bureau of Canda that you can do to make sure your business is safeguarded from the unexpected.
- Check that your business insurance meets your needs. Speak to your insurance representative to ensure your coverage is adequate. (You can always call HAL Insurance at 306-569-2150 if you have questions.)
- Identify evacuation routes and meeting locations. Remember to go over this information with employees once it is in place so everyone is on the same page.
- Have necessary safety equipment and supplies. Employees should know how and where to access items such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, automatic external defibrillators and shelter-in-place
- Protect critical systems. Make sure you have updated firewall and antivirus software on computers and networks. Surge protectors are crucial to protect valuable equipment and data.
- Perform frequent data backups using off-site or web-based options. Choose a data backup option with a proven track record for reliability and system security. If you store personally identifiable information about customers, speak to your insurance representative about cyber risk insurance.
- Secure the premises. Install fire sprinklers and impact-resistant windows and doors. Keep computers and cash registers secured from falling over.
- Develop a business continuity plan. Once an emergency plan is in place, it’s time to consider what to do after the fact. Think about what needs to be done to keep your business running during or immediately following a disruption. Employees and their families will likely be impacted by an emergency, so it’s wise to have a contingency staffing plan.
- Review your plans and update them regularly. Your emergency and business continuity plans shouldn’t be static, but adjustable to accommodate the needs of your business and changes in technology. Revisit plans frequently to ensure they include any changes.
Although these steps may seem comprehensive, there is more that can be done to make sure you and your business is ready in case of emergency. Sitting down with your insurance provider and going over coverage and your plan will help give you peace of mind.