With Hurricane Sandy as Context, Is Your Company Protected?

by ETF Base on November 16, 2012

It often takes a crisis to spur action for a business or personal preventative expenditure, but then shortly after the crisis has passed, it’s immediately back to the status quo.  Think about how many people on the East Coast lost power for days on end just over the past couple years with the various major storms and hurricanes, yet they never went out and bought a generator.  This year during Hurricane Sandy, may of them wish they did!  The problem with disaster preparedness is that it’s tough to quantify the return on investment.  It’s like insurance.  You hope you never need it, but you really need to have some basic level of protection to prevent the Black Swan event.  Here are some additional preparedness items companies should be thinking about:

  • Power Loss – This is one of the most common maladies facing business, especially overseas.  I’m a part owner in a CAD Drafting firm with an office in the Philippines where they’re losing power (and internet) constantly.  We end up having to communicate with them via cell phone, but this prevents the ability to transfer data to and from clients.  It’s crazy, but our backup plan is to actually have one of the workers hop on a moped with a laptop and go to a neighboring town with a laptop, transfer files at an internet cafe, power up, and come back.  There’s also a generator at the office to keep the workstations going.  You do what you have to do.  What’s your companies plan?
  • Work Stoppage – Look at what’s going on with Hostess in the news this week!  Our national treasure, the Twinkie, is going the way of the Dodo because the company failed to reach agreement with their workers’ union to avoid bankruptcy.  Evidently, management didn’t think the union would balk, or the union was taking a stand on principle, and that’s that.  They’re done.  The company will liquidate. If your company has either a union workforce, or even an hourly workforce that is subject to broad revolt (this is not uncommon in other countries), have a plan in place for contingent workforces.
  • Fire Protection – Fire is another very common cause of risk and loss for companies. Aside from carrying insurance, which can provide a nominal value, there may be certain key items, documents and other assets that are simply priceless to the business.  By doing some due diligence on the best Smoke Alarms from Fire Protection Online, you can put yourself very much at ease compared to just relying on whatever the bare minimum code requirement was from your landlord or an older building that may have grandfathered in inadequate protection.  Early detection and alerting of smoke could make all the difference in the world.

The list goes on, from data loss, theft, intellectual property loss and other natural disasters.  You need to really think about what you can budget toward these business interruptions and how devastating it would be should they occur.

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