As I look at the weather maps showing some serious weather bearing down on us in the Northeast, I can’t help but think about the importance of disaster preparedness for good managers. Too often “risk management” simply means insurance policies for some folks. For me, risk management is also about being prepared for disaster:
Step 1: it is important to have procedures!
- Weather related (Blizzard of 2015?)
- Power failure
- Fire or chemical spill
- Technology breach or failure
- Dangerous individuals
Step 2: If you don’t have procedures, develop them!
- Talk with your colleagues
- Review the Small Business Association’s disaster preparedness website at: http://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-preparedness
- Consult with your local police and fire department
- Talk to your IT people
Step 3: What is your post-disaster plan?
- What do you need to have ready to get up and running? Where and how will you access it/them?
- Back up files?
- Contact lists?
- Communication plans?
- Alternate service sites?
But it is the day before the blizzard is going to strike. It is too late to develop procedures now, so what can you do today? Of course your first responsibility is to your family. So if you haven’t filled the gas tank on your car and gathered up the batteries, water, and extra milk yet, do it now.
If you have a few minutes left at work?
- Back up all your files on a portable drive and stick it in your pocket. Yes, even the ones in DropBox or ICloud—you may not have internet access at home. Even if you have a generator, the cable company needs external power to get your internet service to you.
- Bring along any hardcopy reading you’ve been wanting to get to.
- Grab your most critical paper files.
- Take your list of home phone numbers.
- Shut off all the equipment, so your computers, copiers, and so on aren’t hit by an electrical power surge.
My list here is pretty short, and there may be more that you really need to have at home given your industry. Maybe it is client contact info? Or head office contacts? Or field people? Board members?
Now, enjoy the snow. Make a big pot of chili or soup, get out the board games, and revel in having a snow day!