As we approach weather season, let's talk about your disaster plan. I have discussed in the past that a good Disaster Plan is critical to reduce your total cost of risk. When we ask clients about their disaster plan, I usually hear, “no we need to work on that” or, “yes our computer guy has us taken care of”. The problem with the first response is obvious but when I dive into the latter scenario, I often find many holes in their program. As we know, having your computers backed up is very important and most of us think and expect that that is being done properly. Even though you may find that the backup is not being done as good as it can be done, a bigger problem is what are you going to do with that data if your building is a total loss due to a fire, tornado, or ice storm? Even if your data survives, most businesses never recover from a total loss at their property. Below are some important elements of a complete Disaster Plan:
- Data Backup and Recovery – This includes software and not just data.
- Written plan with procedures, and contacts. Copies of relevant data for each key employee should be kept at their houses.
- Facilities & Power - If you are shut down, for many types of disasters, so is your power. Who will provide power, computers, office space, warehouse space, and internet or phone connectivity if these are out. A disaster can include a major cut in your internet service without any type of natural disaster being the cause. We partner with firms that provide these services to our clients.
- Testing – If you plan has not been tested, it will probably fail or not obtain it’s desired result. Everyone we know that has tested their plan has found huge problems they had to fix after the test. When you test, you should simulate a complete loss and restore just like you would have to do in a disaster.
- Funding – Now that you have the plan to take care of all of this, who will pay for it? It’s important that your Risk Advisor structures your insurance to properly fund your plan.