We must be prepared to face natural disasters like hurricanes Irma and Maria. Every business is at risk, and to ensure the continuity of your business when disaster strikes, it is essential that you mitigate that risk.

Developing a business continuity plan is one of the strategies that can make a difference. Having a continuity plan will allow you to increase the capacity of your business so you can continue to provide goods and services even after a significant interruption of your operations.

1. Analyze your business and assess the risks.

Determine which parts of your business are vital for its survival. To do that, list the functions, processes, employees, locations, and systems that are essential for the continued operations of your company or organization:

  • Prepare a list of key employees in order to maintain the business operational. Include their addresses and phone numbers.
  • Identify the minimum information that must be quickly accessible for carrying out essential tasks and operations.
  • Develop a logistics plan for moving the operation and personnel to alternate locations, including transportation, equipment rental, hotels, car and truck rental, and utilities.
  • Review your insurance policies.

2. Select your strategies.

Now that you have identified the risks and the business areas that you should maintain operational, assess the alternatives and strategies appropriate to your business’s needs. These may be:

  • Repair and/or replace equipment.
  • Relocation of operations to an alternate site.
  • Temporary subcontracting of operations.
  • Modifying business hours.
  • Reassigning tasks as needs require.

3. Develop a plan.

After choosing your strategy, you must develop and implement it within your business. This is the phase of putting the plan into action, and to do that, you need to define:

  • The equipment and materials needed to carry out your plan.
  • The responsibilities and functions of each team and team member.
  • The alert procedures when events occur that require that the plan be activated.
  • The strategy to return to normal operations.

4. Test the plan.

Once a year, you should test the plan by holding drills, doing a step-by-step analysis, or running simulations. You should consider that not every event may require that the plan be implemented. Determine whether your plan is effective and which aspects need to be improved or eliminated. You should also determine what you need to do to keep the plan up to date.

If you would like help in drawing up a continuity plan that fits your business, call Popular Risk Services1 at 787-731-6900.

Insurance products are not deposits, are not insured by the FDIC or other federal government agencies, are not insured by the bank, and may lose value.

1Popular Risk Services is an Insurance Producer duly authorized by the Insurance Commissioner’s Office to manage life, disability, miscellaneous, title, health services, and variable insurance in Puerto Rico.