Whether it's a fleeting thunderstorm or powerful hurricane, all storms have the potential to affect your business, no matter how big or small. From flood damage to Internet outages, you never know what kind of impact a storm may have on your ability to conduct normal operations. All it takes is one fallen tree branch to take down a power line and wipe out the Internet connection you rely on to conduct daily business activities. Without proper preparation, including Internet backup, your small business can suffer severe consequences as a result of downtime.
What Can You Do to Prepare & Protect Your Small Business?
Implementing safety measures and response plans, as well as redundancy solutions, are important steps toward weathering any storm.
1. Confirm emergency plans & procedures.
Knowing you have safety, communication and insurance plans in place can offer small business owners some peace of mind, even in the midst of a storm. Here are a couple of things to verify:
- Insurance coverage: Standard business owner’s policies typically offer some safeguards against damage incurred to property, systems and income loss from storms, but often don't cover all scenarios, like flood damage for example. Review your existing insurance policies and verify if any additional insurance coverage is needed.
- Emergency & communications protocol: A well-documented emergency plan ensures employees know what steps to take if a crisis occurs, and outlines procedures for informing all relevant stakeholders (from off-duty employees, to customers, to vendors) when disaster strikes. Consider creating an emergency action plan checklist and practicing the protocol often, so all parties involved in your small business feel prepared.
2. Ensure all back-ups are in order.
Redundant solutions are important to have in place so that you can continue to operate your business with the least amount of disruption should any transformers, power, cable or phone lines be damaged by a storm.
- Backup power: A backup generator on-site can help keep your entire operation– or the most essential parts of it– running smoothly during a power outage. You can employ a generator that can power your whole business, or provide just enough power to keep any products or goods you may have in-store protected. Either way, back-up power can reduce the costs of downtime and prevent you from incurring irreversible losses due to a prolonged outage.
- Back-up data: Make sure you have reliable data backups in place both on- and off-site to reduce your risk of experiencing severe IT infrastructure damage and data loss. While physical hard drives are a great tool, they won’t be much help in the event your business experiences flood, fire or other physical damage. Investing in a cloud data backup solution that allows remote access can make data recovery much easier and allow you to retrieve critical information virtually.
- Backup connectivity: Internet continuity is critical to have in place at your small business. In the event your primary Internet connection goes down due to a storm, having an Internet failover solution in place can be the difference between business as usual and all operations halted. Discover why it’s worth the investment for your small business.
Don’t wait until the next storm is on the horizon -- a bit of preparation ahead of time using the tips outlined in this post can make all the difference for successfully weathering the next storm.