As the Station Fire devoured over 100,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest and loomed visibly above the LA Basin all week, it was a stark reminder of Mother Nature’s strength. Whether in fire country or flood plains, on flat lands or near fault lines, when pitted against humans, the elements will inevitably win. This past week just demonstrated that emergency preparedness is no joke.
Since many small and start-up businesses are run out of home-based businesses, should disaster hit, one might be called upon to evacuate both simultaneously so it’s all the more important to know exactly what to do. Since I’m hardly a good girl scout (and am thoroughly unprepared for a disaster of any kind), here are a few tips gleaned from different expert resources.
First, a few things you can do before anything drastic happens.
Back up. Chances are you already do this, but it’s always a good idea to have off-site back up. There are a multitude of companies that provide this service for a range of different costs depending upon needs. Companies like Carbonite, Mozy, Data Deposit Box offer online back up. Barracuda and Iron Mountain offer on- and off-site back up plans.
Inventory. Know the value of equipment and other important things in your office. If necessary, take photos of your space. If your office is damaged, you’ll have to provide your insurance company with a full list of all the equipment and infrastructure that need to be replaced. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Quick Pack. Just as you put all your family’s vital documents together in one place for easy evac, make copies of all your important business documentation and put them in one easy place or file. That way if you do have to leave in a hurry, it’s all in one easy-to-grab-and-run location. Small Business even recommends keeping a copy of documentation at an off-site location.
Should a disaster threaten your office, be ready.
Have a plan in place. Small Business Newz encourages business owners to have a plan in place and even test it beforehand. A good plan needs to address getting you and your employees safely out.
One never knows what Mother Nature might throw your way so check out all the resources out there on how to best be prepared.