Disaster Planning Made Easy

Nick Roberts

The consequences of the Christchurch earthquakes continue in more ways than one and not just in Canterbury, as the recent headlines about what would happen in Wellington demonstrate. How many local business owners have stopped to think about what would happen to their businesses should Hawkes Bay draw the short straw?

  • Insurances. Do you have sufficient cover for site and equipment, vehicles, electronics, furniture and fittings, stock, wages and salaries, loss of profit, the additional cost of operating your business, claim preparation costs and reinstatement of records?
  • Documentation. What are you doing to reduce physical documentation? What do you currently store in hard copy that should be scanned onto your server or kept via a 'cloud' based backup solution?
  • Back-up Procedures. Have you tested these recently? Review these too to see if they are adequate.
  • Internal Safety. Have you looked at your premises to be sure they are safe? Is the fit-out safe and are items secured? Do you have the regulatory fire equipment? Do you keep food and water stocks on-site? First aid? Do you have a clear and documented evacuation plan?
  • Vital Documents. Do you have the originals stored in a safe location as well as electronic 'soft' copies? Examples include: insurance policies, key client and staff contracts.
  • Remote Working. Which of your staff could work remotely with minimal disruption? Why not investigate the required IT infrastructure in the short term rather than as a reaction to a disaster? It's also easier than it seems and for some industries it's becoming the way of the future.
  • Staff Contact Details. Do you have the mobile 'phone numbers and addresses of all your team members stored in your mobile phone? Having this information readily available is vital to coordinate your staff remotely if your premises are out of action.
Take a day out of the daily minutiae of business and do some research, review your policies and procedures and then prepare a simple risk management plan. It could be the most valuable thing you do this year!

If you have any tax or business queries of any kind telephone 0800 ASK NICK, e-mail or use our form. The information in this article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific advice.