Planning for Small Disasters


One of our clients recently experienced a potential disaster.  Their building caught fire about 9:00 one morning.  The cause of the fire was from grease in the exhaust duct in a restaurant on the first floor of an office building.  They were able to get operations up and running very quickly from any alternate site.

The nature of this business is that they provide virtual office services to businesses.  With this client, the concern wasn't what to do about getting employees working, it was how do we keep our clients working!  They depended on this business to continue no matter what.  That is the very nature of virtual offices.

Fortunately, they had planned for this exact scenario.  They immediately sprung their disaster plans into effect, had employees transferred to a temporary office and redirected phones and email to this location.  Everything worked and calls were able to be answered.  They kept their clients productive.  They were able to restore operations at their main site the very next day.  The plan was dynamic and easy to revert.

When a disaster strikes you need someone on your team with a steady hand that can think clearly.  You have to have someone ensure that your mission as a business is met.  How can you get the business moving again, employees productive, and clients taken care of?  Many companies face stiff competition and if they are not able to open their doors, even for a day, the loss in revenues can be quite large.

The mission of the company must be able to survive and move forward after only a brief outage.  This applies to most every industry.  Unless you are in a highly specialized business, you must think this through in detail.  But don't be so rigid that when the plan needs to be enacted that you can't call an audible in the process.

There is also a coaching aspect to this plan.  When disaster strikes, can your team quickly adapt and carry out the mission of the business?  Will they continue to serve your clients and not pass on the drama of the moment?  Can they remain cool under the pressure.

The steady hand is underrated in a disaster.  Not every disaster is major like a hurricane.  Every company has someone that can be the level head.  Get that person involved, create a disaster plan, and be prepared.  Micro-disasters are not that uncommon.