WORCESTER, Mass., Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Businesspeople know that when a disaster occurs recovering and restoring business operations is far easier when you are prepared with a detailed plan. With that in mind, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. is offering tips to help business owners minimize risks and plan for a safe, speedy recovery in the event of an emergency.
"A solid disaster plan will help minimize damage in the event of an emergency, while also providing a clear path to quickly recovering your business operations," said Jack Roche, president, business insurance at The Hanover. "And disaster planning doesn't need to be an overwhelming task. Begin by contacting your independent insurance agent to review your coverage and risk management solutions, to make sure your business is adequately protected."
Minimize risks ahead of time
- Review your business insurance policy with your insurance agent or advisor: Discuss possible disaster threats, including fire and weather, and make sure your policy includes the proper coverage and endorsements.
- Identify business-critical activities and resources: Lining up resources now with clear accountabilities, will enable you to maintain customer service, if and when your business facility is closed for repairs.
- Keep up-to-date duplicate records of both computerized and written records: Maintaining and safeguarding accurate business records isn't just practical—it's the law. Having this information will also help you to get back into business much quicker.
- Plan for the worst: Before disaster strikes, find and develop a list of alternate facilities, equipment and supplies, and identify qualified contractors to repair your facility.
- Consider emergency resources: Your disaster plan should include sources for back-up power and for employee and customer communications, as well as first-aid kits, water, and flashlights.
- Compile and share a list of important phone numbers: In addition to your employees and company officers, your emergency contact list should include local and state emergency management agencies, major clients, contractors and suppliers, realtors, financial institutions, and your insurance agent. Be sure your list includes primary and cell telephone numbers.
- Include a plan for contacting customers: You don't want to lose your customers because of a fire or other disaster. So make sure your plan includes a way to stay in touch with your customers. Depending on your business model, you may want to be prepared to post information on your website or reach out by telephone, email, or social media channels.
- Train your employees and establish your emergency response plan: Build your plan and make sure employees are trained on how to execute it, including evacuation procedures.
- Review and update your plan on a regular basis: Keep you plan current and communicate any changes to your employees. Do it at least annually or more frequently.