Businesses should have plan of action for storms

Letter: La. outsourcing a problem
August 30, 2012
The inevitable tightening arrives
August 30, 2012
Letter: La. outsourcing a problem
August 30, 2012
The inevitable tightening arrives
August 30, 2012

No company is immune to disaster. Whether it’s due to a hurricane, tornado or some other destructive event, every organization faces the risk that someday a disaster will hit.


At Capital One Bank, we believe all businesses in the area should develop and test plans of their own for possible emergencies, such as hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and fires. Those plans should address critical issues such as payroll, restoring technology and communicating with employees, customers, and other key stakeholders. The plans should be updated and tested at least once a year.


 A good disaster plan is like an insurance policy. Companies have to spend money to set up and maintain it, and the plan doesn’t generate any revenue. But when disaster strikes, you will be glad you have it in place. Early and consistent preparation with your team and your outside vendors will minimize the impact of a disaster.

 Here are some other things business should do to prepare for potential disasters:


·Develop a business disaster recovery plan – Establish a disaster-recovery team of employees that knows your business best and assign responsibilities for specific tasks before disaster strikes. Use this opportunity to identify your risks and make a detailed plan for how you will respond to disasters. Prioritize critical business functions and how quickly these must be recovered.


·Alternative operational location and back-up site – Determine a place where, if disaster strikes, your business can continue operations. This may range from a satellite location to an employee home or local hotel. Whatever location you have available, make sure it has critical equipment, data files and supplies.

·Safeguard your property and information – While choosing an alternative location, prepare your property to survive the possible disaster. Appropriately secure the property and company equipment, as well as back-up computer systems and company records. Make sure that contact information for employees, key customers, important vendors and suppliers, and insurance companies are not just backed-up but accessible electronically for employees.

·Evacuation order – If a mandatory evacuation is issued, be prepared to grab and leave with critical office records and equipment, such as insurance policies and company contracts, company checks and bank account records, employee payroll and contact information

·Cash management – Be prepared to meet emergency cash-flow needs, making sure to take your checkbook and credit cards in advance of the evacuation. Always keep enough cash on hand to handle immediate needs and issue corporate credit cards to essential personnel to cover emergency business expenses. Use Internet banking services to monitor account activity; manage cash flow; initiate wires and pay bills; reduce dependency on paper checks and postal service to send and receive payments; and make night depository drops as early as possible if a threat is imminent.

Disaster preparedness should not exist in a vacuum. Your bank, lawyer, account and insurance contracts all help provide insight as you start the process. For more information on emergency planning and preparedness for your business, visit www.capitalonebank.com/disasterplanning.

Robert Naquin

Tri-Parish Area President, Capital One Bank