Since last week, I have been watching the news showing the flooding north of Denver. While we have had rain coming down and puddles on our grass, luckily both my home and my office are on high enough ground away from streams and creeks to avoid flooding. Pictures from Boulder, where I went to law school, show areas underwater and damage to homes, business, and CU. My heart goes out to all those affected.
When a natural disaster does strike, though, it is a good time to reassess the measures that you have taken, both personally and as a business owner, to protect your family and your livelihood. You can find information about personal preparedness at the Red Cross’s website. I have included a list of items that you should make sure to do as a business owner.
- Backups: Having computer backups is essential if you store information on your computer about your sales, financials, customers, etc. You may want to have a backup at your home and at your business. In some instances, you may also want to have a backup in the cloud (you may want to encrypt this) so that you can access it from wherever you end up.
- Insurance: Having insurance is essential. In some cases, an office policy will also include a business interruption insurance clause and property insurance. Talk to your insurance agent. If you rent, is rebuilding covered? Is business interruption insurance covered? Do you have the ability to pay employees if you need/want to?
- Disaster Plan: Especially if you have more than one person in your company, a disaster plan communicated to everyone is necessary. How do employees find out if there is a weather system moving in? Do you have emergency alert systems in your office/retail space?
- Contact Information: Just like backups, it is important to have contact information accessible if you need to leave (or lose) your office space/retail store. You want to have names, phone numbers, email addresses, policy/account numbers for your banks, credit cards, loans, landlords, suppliers, employees, insurance agents and other people that you may need to contact in an emergency.
- Website Information: Do you have a way to change your website? Do you have login information? In case of an emergency, you may want to make changes to it to update the public and clients of new hours/locations/etc/
- Phone forwarding: If your business location is unavailable, can you forward your phones to another number? You may want to have the instructions on how to do this available before an emergency – you can add this information to your disaster recovery plan.
Hopefully, your business will never need a disaster recovery plan. However, if you do, planning ahead can make a stressful situation a little bit easier.
If you need any legal help, please feel free to call your Denver Business Attorney, Elizabeth Lewis at 720-258-6647.