Business Continuity: Know the Most Likely Hazards to Your Business
By Randall Hanifen
Contributor, EDM Digest
Business owners know to buy insurance, but they might not be aware of all the hazards that could interrupt their business operations. In areas such as California, for example, hazards include earthquakes and forest fires. In the Midwest, those disasters are less likely to occur, but tornadoes and flooding are major concerns.
Do you know the primary hazards in your area –fires, a tornadoes, power outages or floods? You need to determine which hazards could affect your company before you spend money on insurance that will cover each and every potential hazard.
Plan to Cope with a Variety of Potential Disasters
If you are covered by insurance for the most likely destructive hazards, you have good probability of recouping your losses. But you also need a plan to cope with a variety of other potential disasters that are not covered by insurance.
If you have a manufacturing facility, a sudden power outage or electric fire might be the most likely hazards you will encounter. In addition to insurance, mitigation, prevention and response strategies can limit interruptions and losses to your business.
However, if you own a high-profile shopping center, your hazards might be active shooters or a bomb. Obviously, preparation, mitigation and response to these events are significantly different from a power outage or small fire.
The Expertise You Need Depends on Disaster Types
Depending on the type of business you have, the necessary expertise and subject matter experts will vary greatly. Disasters will have significantly different effects on your type of business.
A power outage in a mall is an inconvenience for a day or so. But an active shooter event can create public fear and prevent potential shoppers from returning to the mall for years.
Additionally, a power outage can be resolved with a generator. Conversely, an active shooter scenario requires security measures, collaboration and training with police. A public relations professional will be required to deal with the press.
Often, business owners do not know how and where to prepare for hazards, especially in light of the barrage of news related to terrorism and destruction. By simply identifying and determining the likelihood of certain hazards, however, you won’t waste time or resources planning for a low-probability event.