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Is Your Business Prepared to Weather a Natural Disaster? Here Are Three Things to Consider

August 28, 2019

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Only 27% of businesses believe they are prepared to ensure business continuity after a natural disaster.1 According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 to 60% of small businesses never reopen following a disaster, and 90% of smaller companies fail within a year if they are unable to resume operations within five days.2 You may already have plans in place for safety and security, but these statistics underscore that business continuity and workforce planning are critically important, too.

As we reach the peak of hurricane season, now is the time to put processes in place that will make weather disruptions less disruptive. Want to be ready for a natural disaster? Or prepare for a potential server failure or fire? Here are three things to consider for your business continuity plan:

  • Internal Communications. Need to let your team know the office is closed due to power outages? Or to tell them it’s OK to work from home because the roads are icy? Sometimes it’s not as easy as picking up the phone. Or, when public services have been disrupted, it’s not always as easy as sending out an email. For business continuity and peace of mind, it’s important to have a plan for communicating with your employees. Here are some steps you can take now: 1) Update your staff contact information; 2) Ensure you have everyone’s emergency contact; and 3) Develop a comprehensive plan that includes phone trees, email and text templates and more.
  • During and following a weather disruption, some of your team members may not be able to travel to the office. While you’re mapping out your plan, it’s good to identify who is essential for operations. Then, plan for the event that those people might not be able to come into the office. Is it worth cross-training other employees for these must-fill roles? Or should you set up a remote work policy, or line up an alternative office space?
  • There’s no way around it — your team will notice if payday is late. And paying people on time is essential to comply with state and federal employment laws. Weather disruptions can complicate this, especially for employees who still receive paper checks. But a little planning can help to solve for this issue — paperless payroll enables employers to easily pay employees who may be unable to collect their checks following a disaster. For your team members who receive paper checks, perhaps because they are among the 8.4 million unbanked Americans,3 prepaid payroll cards offer a viable, paperless option.

Don’t become one of the 73% of businesses that aren’t prepared to weather the storm — put a business continuity plan in place today. FEMA and the Red Cross have an abundance of disaster preparedness resources available online. And, if you’re ready to implement paperless pay options, we’re here to help.


 

1 DataCore, April 2018, “17 Shocking Statistics about Disaster Recovery and Business Resiliency — Where Does your Organization Stand?: Part 1” (https://www.datacore.com/blog/17-shocking-statistics-about-disaster-recovery-and-business-resiliency-where-does-your-organization-stand-part-1/)

2 FEMA, September 2015, “Make Your Business Resilient” (https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1441212988001-1aa7fa978c5f999ed088dcaa815cb8cd/3a_BusinessInfographic-1.pdf)

3 FDIC, 2017, “2017 FDIC National Survey” (https://www.fdic.gov/householdsurvey/)