4 Tips for Post-Hurricane Business Continuity

It happened. A hurricane struck. The office isn’t flooded. There’s no massive damage. No electrical panels fried, no equipment was damaged – but you weren’t prepared. You had no plan in place and you’re struggling to get back up and running. You didn’t set policies with your employees, you lost power in the office – you’re literally bleeding money. Safety was your number one priority – but now that you’re good to go, you aren’t really sure how to get back up and running. We’ve all read threatening articles about flooding in the office and equipment frying from power surges and massive damage from trees – but if you’ve lived in Florida for any amount of time and been through a major storm – you probably don’t really consider these things a legitimate threat. And if we continue to get lucky, they’re not. But what happens after a major storm? Do you have a plan in place? Here are a few tips for post-hurricane business continuity and how to keep things running smoothly after a storm.

Get set back up as quickly as possible.
If you didn’t already have them in place (shame on you) – it’s time to start making assignments. Every lost moment is crucial. Make sure you have your employee’s cell phone numbers and as soon as you’re able and have ensured their safety, get a plan in place for meeting at the office to assess damage and set up crucial equipment. The sooner you have everyone on the same page and a plan in place for getting things back to normal – the sooner you’ll be back to productive business as usual.

Check your backups and your servers.
While things might all look okay, you want to make sure that you have your servers rebooted and running as soon as possible. You probably already ran a backup before you left (you remembered to do that, right?), so just make sure that your server is up and running and your backups continue to run as usual. This will give your employees access to the files that they need whether they’re working remotely or in the office.

Get employees connected.
Of course, not every employee is going to be immediately ready to work – some of them are going to have damage to their homes to take care of, insurance claims, and some will still be without power. Be sensitive to this, but make sure that they have the resources that they need to stay in touch and work when they can. Be clear (and reasonable) about your expectations and make sure that they have access to e-mail and the basic necessities to keep in touch as you try to get the ball rolling.

Remind clients and customers that you’re okay – and back up and running.
Your clients and customers are probably wondering how you’re doing and might even be eager to get back to work with you. Make sure that you send a quick e-mail to your contact list and throughout social media channels to let the world know that all is well and that you’re back up and running (in whatever capacity that is).

There is always going to be a little bit of business interruption surrounding any hurricane, no matter how bad it is. Make sure that you not only have the plan in place for what to do if there is a major disaster that impacts your business, but what to do regardless of how the storm impacts your company. You need to have a proactive plan in place that allows you to account for every eventuality, including massive disasters like equipment and data loss. The more prepared that you are, the less of an impact even the most costly disaster will be to your organization’s bottom line.