If there’s anything that the last several months have taught us, it’s that having a preparedness plan in place is critically important when it comes to protecting the future of your family and your business.

While no one could have predicted exactly how COVID-19 would impact our country, it is proving out that having a preparedness plan in place will give you a head start on recovery in the face of a future disaster. While your experience of shifting operations for COVID-19 is fresh, create or update a preparedness plan for your business using the strategies below as a starting point.

Employee protection measures
• Identify an internal shelter in the event that
authorities tell you to “shelter in place.”
• Make a list of all necessary protective and safety
equipment needed, and create a central storage
site for these items along with instructions on
how to use them.
• Document each employee’s function and
emergency contact information.
• Create a phone tree and designate individuals
who will initiate the communication process.
• Establish a single spokesperson to speak to
the media and the public in times of crisis.

Customer relations strategies
• Prepare for a situation where customers will be
present and/or impacted if a disaster strikes.
• Keep your customer records in the cloud.
• Have an alternate worksite where you can
communicate with customers.
• Maintain a contact list of all your suppliers, and
find out how they plan to continue to provide
supplies for you if they also experience a disaster.
• Maintain a list of alternate suppliers in order to
make substitutions if possible.

Operational preparedness
• Document critical business processes, from
answering phones to tracking finances and
distributing your product or service.
• Design and implement a remote work infra-
structure or alternative location in order to
continue operations when necessary.
• Keep all of your essential documents in the
cloud so that they can be accessed 24/7 from
anywhere.
• Create and keep current a list of all your business
inventory, equipment and supplies for insurance
purposes.

Take the lessons learned from the recent health and economic crisis to better prepare your business for the future.