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Planning for Disasters

It seems lately that natural disasters are occurring with more frequency and intensity. In the past few years, in particular, floods, earthquakes, fires, mudslides, tornadoes, and hurricanes have caused millions of dollars in damages to the homes and businesses they strike. While you can't prevent a natural disaster from occurring, you can help minimize its impact on your business by being prepared if disaster strikes.

Think you don't need to worry? Ask yourself — can all or part of your worksite cease to exist for one day or permanently? Would you survive the financial disaster? If the answer is probably not, it underscores how important fire, disaster recovery, and contingency planning are. The following sample plans assume that all or a part of your business has ceased to exist in the location it is in for a period of time. How you continue and recreate your business are the goals of these plans.

If you have trouble getting motivated to do it, think of how much better shape your business will be in if you do. After a disaster occurs, you may be the only business of your kind standing and ready to go. Think of how much business you could do!

Each business's plan is unique, yet the process of developing the plan has many similarities. To help prepare for a disaster, take the following steps: