What resources does your business rely on? If your roof caved in from heavy snow or your building suddenly flooded from spring rainstorms, could your company survive? Natural disasters are more common than you think, affecting 30% of businesses according to an NFIB National Small Business Poll. After the initial personal safety concerns are addressed, it’s a small measure of comfort to know that you haven’t lost your livelihood in the disaster as well. Planning for the unknown may seem like a waste of time and money, but it’s impossible to know when disaster can strike and in what form.
· No business is immune from unpredictable weather in the U.S. Midwest (especially in Michigan, where snow is still a possibility until June). Blizzards, freezing rain, strong winds, and subzero temperatures can interrupt connections with power outages as well as leave behind extensive physical damage. Example: the Grand Rapids Flood of 2013 raised the Grand River 21.86 feet and left businesses out of order for days.
· Natural disasters create extensive problems such as; customer issues, lost revenue, damaged reputation and decreased competitiveness. If your company is not prepared for an emergency, you could find yourself trying to rebuild from scratch, increasing your risk of losing customer trust and loyalty.
· You may ask yourself: “Why should I outsource my data backup for something that may or may not happen?” Using proactive measures when considering how to protect your business puts you ahead of your competitors when the unexpected happens.
· It’s a best practice to use a redundant off-site location, most often in a different city or state. All data is virtualized to the Cloud, so operations can continue until the physical location can be restored. You can ensure the highest level of protection in a storm and that your downtime will be reduced from days or weeks to just a few minutes. Emergency preparedness is never a bad idea.
Natural disasters should be on the radar of risk assessment for your business. Our interconnected world means that companies that work in tandem are all negatively affected if even one part of the chain shuts down. Companies in different areas are not affected by the same weather, so it’s crucial to be able to remain competitive while dealing with any type of crisis. Weigh the loss of potential profit against the cost of setting up a Business Continuity plan and you’ll find that the latter has innumerable benefits. And personally, I’d rather be safe than sorry.