Financial expertise may not be the scope of our business, but with the hit of severe ice storms, like the one that hit Toronto and its surrounding areas in December 2013, and heavy rains that caused flooding just five months earlier in the same city, we have seen businesses take a hit to their profits as a result of extended periods of lost power, damages to their commercial properties, and damages to their equipment and building’s infrastructure. While profits are being spent on mending the damages, extreme weather conditions may be lurking around the corner just waiting to create more problems.
So what can businesses do to protect their property and thus protect their profits in the event of impending disasters? Here is a tip or two to consider:
Tip #1 – Get access to a backup generator. Whether your organization chooses to purchase a generator or purchase space from the landlord’s existing generator, having access to a backup generator allows your company to remain in operation if the main electrical system fails.
Tip #2 – Ensure all computer files are backed-up daily on a tested online or offline back-up system. Some companies may already have a backup system, but amazingly enough, not all of those backup systems are tested and many fail in the event of an emergency or disaster. Whether you choose an online or offline back-up system, take a moment to confirm your files have been backed up and are easily retrievable. If your server goes down, a tried and true back-up system, such as a tape drive or using data striping on multiple hard drives, will help your company quickly retrieve files and resume regular business activities once the server is back online, thus saving time and money.
Tip #3 – Make sure your servers are placed in a rack that is bolted to the wall and elevated a minimum of seven and a half centimetres off the floor. This would protect your server from damages in the event of a flood.
Tip #4 – Install sensors in ceilings and floors that will send off an alarm if excess moisture is building up on your pipes. Also office appliances such as coffeemakers should contain sensors that will trigger the “off” mechanism if an overflow begins. All this would prevent moisture damage to floors, ceilings and walls.
Tip #5 – Make sure you and your staff are aware of emergency exits and procedures. Plan your exit strategies and have fire drills so everyone becomes familiar with the actions they should take during any emergency. Your most valuable assets are your staff. Take care of them and they will take care of your business.
Tip #6 – Make sure all emergency equipment is regularly checked and up to date. This includes alarms, detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. Having these up to par will go further in protecting all your profit- generating assets.
Following any or all of these tips will certainly limit the negative effects any disaster could otherwise have on your business.