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3 ways to stay ready for disasters

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Natural disasters have the potential to devastate a small business in a matter of moments if they don't have the appropriate property insurance policies, as well as risk management strategies in place to ensure the firm will be able to survive in the event of a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or anything of the like. A recent article for Fox Business shared some of the insights from three emergency-preparedness experts about how to build an effective and affordable disaster plan

Have a companywide crisis communication plan
Employees, vendors and customers need to remain in the know at all times during a disaster, which is why it's important to have a crisis communication plan in place. By gathering the contact information for businesses, customers or anyone else that the company needs to stay in contact with, the firm won't lose communication with important clients or partners. Social media can also be used as a way keep everyone in the know in the event of a disaster.

"Assign one person the task of spokesperson, and have them be responsible for updating customers on social media or via email," Carol Chang, spokesperson for the Small Business Administration, told the news source. "Lack of communication with customers during emergency situations can undermine a business's recovery."

Keep information backed up in the cloud
The power may have gone out at the office, but that doesn't mean operations have to stop at the business. Innovations such as the cloud can give small-business owners a place to store company information and share it with all of their employees. Many of today's firms can't afford to be down for several days, which makes the cloud a valuable business tool.

"By saving data on the cloud rather than on local computers only, you can still access your business's data in the event that you have to temporarily or permanently relocate," Annie Xu, general manager of Alibaba US, asserted to the source. 

Make sure employees are prepared
It is very rare that harsh weather will roll through an area without much warning, giving small-business owners and their staff time to get ready for the effects of a storm. Encouraging the workforce to have a disaster plan of their own will ensure they will be ready to come back to work after the worst of the weather is done.

"Small-business owners will often say that their employees are their greatest assets," Scott Teel, marketing director for Agility Recovery, said to the source. "If your employees are impacted or under-prepared at home - say a family member or even a pet is injured during a storm - then that employee will not be coming into work."

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