Business Insurance

1. Review your current insurance coverage. Is it enough to get your business back in operation? Will it cover the replacement cost of vital facilities? Make it a regular annual procedure to review and update insurance. Also remember that insurance on mortgaged property probably only covers the lender with nothing left over for you.

2. Be aware of your contents insurance. Does it cover the replacement cost of critical equipment?

3. Know what your insurance does not cover. Most general casualty policies do not cover flood damage. Many require additional riders for windstorm, sewer backup, or earth movement. Consider adding coverage for likely perils, especially flood insurance.

4. Consider business interruption insurance that assists you with operating needs during a period of shutdown. It may help you meet payrolls, pay vendors, and purchase inventory until you are in full operation again. Also be prepared for the extraordinary costs of a disaster such as leasing temporary equipment, restoring lost data, and hiring temporary workers.

5. Don't assume that, just because it never happened before, it never will. Flooding patterns are changed by development: water, which runs off new streets and parking lots, may overwhelm nearby streams and surrounding land. Landslides and sinkholes may develop because of distant earth movement, natural or man-made. The creek by your building may be a tiny, placid stream that has never flooded, but a downpour may change it into a destructive torrent that destroys your building foundation. Plan for the worst.

For more information on small business continuity planning and other small business resources, you can visit the Small Business Administration website at www.sba.gov.You can also find some helpful resources on the Disaster Recovery Journal Website at www.drj.com.The information provided here and supplemented by additional targeted resources should spark thought about what your company will need to recover from a disaster, whether that's a security breach or a hurricane, flood or earthquake.

Be sure you put your plan to the test through simulations and assessments. An untested plan is a big unknown and while you can't always simulate everything that will occur during a disaster, you can anticipate the common scenarios and test your plan. For example, if the corporate network was down, you couldn't use e-mail. How would you communicate? What if the phone systems were also out? You might be able to use cell phones if the land lines were down. Simulating a scenario where power, network and phone communications are down might help you identify gaps in your plan. While you may never know how well you've prepared until you need to implement your plan, recent events such as the Hurricane Katrina disaster response have yielded a lot of new information about how to respond (and how not to respond) that you can and should use to reinforce your disaster planning activities.

You will likely want to create a separate project plan for disaster and business continuity planning and work through it as you would any other IT project plan. However, this should be part of the mission and responsibility of your response team.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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