In Case of Disaster

A planning primer for small to midsized companies

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Gardner

At D&C Charter Bus Co. in Chicago, vice president and CIO, Reginald Gardner, says his 10-employee luxury motor coach firm uses a two-pronged approach to disaster planning. The first segment addresses the company’s administrative operations (archiving all files on a regular basis and maintaining them off site, for example), while the second covers the operation of its motor coaches (annual safety inspections and updated driver logs, for instance).

Gardner, who during his 11 years in business hasn’t had to implement D&C’s disaster plan, is glad that he puts the time and effort into the exercise. “I spent 30 years in corporate America, where I learned firsthand just how expensive it can be to not have a plan in place,” says Gardner, who reviews, updates and tests the plan on a quarterly basis. “I’m confident that we’re prepared to keep the operations going in the event of an emergency.”

James says getting key people involved in the planning process can go a long way in ensuring a successful effort. Assemble a team that will not only formulate and test the plan, but that will also inform the rest of the workforce of its importance. “If the last few years are any indication, crises are not always ‘rare’ events,” says James. “The firm that can devote even a minimum amount of attention to disaster planning – and to crafting a solid crisis plan – stands a much better chance of surviving.”

Disaster Planning Tips

–Don’t wait until it’s too late – plan now.
–Don’t forget to back up your important data daily.
–Review your insurance coverage regularly.
–Consider business continuity insurance to cover your assets in case of a disaster.

Resources

SBA’s Disaster Planning Guide for Small Businesses

Ready Business (FEMA)

Further reading

“Staring Down Disaster,” April 2009 Issue

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