In the wake of the recent Hurricanes, Irma and Harvey, it’s important for organizations to have a standard Disaster Contingency Plan in place before any type of natural disaster occurs. Being prepared for this is vital to ensure organization continuity. Read below to find out how to prepare your organization for a natural disaster before it’s too late.
- Give Employees Time to Prepare
Send employees website links or information about how to prepare their homes for disasters. Make sure weather updates are available to employees at work. Consider giving them time off to prepare their homes and make possible evacuation plans. By taking these steps, you can help reassure employees that their families are safe, helping them to stay focused at work. This also shows employees that you care about their safety.
- Plan For Alternative Work Schedules
It’s best to plan out several different scenarios regarding work schedules depending on the severity of the natural disaster. Planning levels of severity and instructions of what to expect at each level would be helpful for employees to understand what is expected from them. At DATIS, we recently had to put together a DATIS Disaster Response Contingency Plan with the different levels of operations that could occur due to Hurricane Irma. This informed our clients on what to expect from us in all situations.
- Determine a Communication Strategy with Clients
Plan a tactical and efficient way to communicate with clients while your organization’s operations are affected. Also, make sure everyone understands their communication responsibilities. For example, create standardized templates to be sent out to clients briefly stating what the operation status of your organization is, what they can expect, and when they will be receiving updates. Determine which employees will be responsible for relaying these messages to clients and which employees will be responsible for providing customer support when needed.
- Determine a Communication Strategy with Employees
It’s important to set up a communication strategy with your employees to make sure they are safe and capable of fulfilling the responsibilities assigned to them to keep the organization running. If the employee is unable to fulfill those responsibilities they will need to be delegated to someone else. In the aftermath, it would be helpful to schedule daily calls with leaders so that communication is never lost. This will give them the ability to report on the status of their team members and to effectively plan for the organizations continuity.
- Back-up all Important Information to Cloud Storage
Since most business transactions are managed electronically, it is necessary that files and data are backed up and saved. An organization may not be able to rebuild itself without important client and financial information. Cloud-based software has the ability to be accessed from anywhere. This is essential for organizations that employ field workers or employees that can’t physically be in the office throughout the day but this feature will be vital to keep an organization running during a natural disaster when it is not possible for employees to be in the office.
Natural disasters are inevitable regardless of where you live. Make time to put together a Disaster Contingency Plan for your organization so you, your employees, and your clients are prepared with what to expect. Enduring a natural disaster is challenging, but with planning in advance and having considerate responses, you can successfully get through these events to get your organization and employees back to normal.