Emergency Plan Put into Place by i3
Customer Service will not be disrupted
Credit to Patrick Kuras
While news reports focus on dramatic scenes of underwater parks and streets, business owners need to be concerned about flooding in buildings, possible power, Internet and phone outages, and even restricted physical access to their buildings.
Depending on where you live and work, you may find yourself unable to get to your place of business, or you may be evacuated from your home or business for days in the aftermath of the flooding. And ongoing emergency response operations may restrict access to your home or business even after floodwaters recede.
What steps do you need to take to ensure that your business continues to operate in the event of a disaster like this? The answer varies for different types of businesses, but every critical business function has to be considered in the context of different types of disasters. Important systems and functions may include phones, network access, email, accounting, manufacturing, order processing, shipping and so on.
Some businesses will face greater challenges that others in maintaining operations during a disaster. Manufacturing, distribution and retail operations are dependent upon physical access to their facilities for most business operations. Information- and service-oriented businesses have a comparatively easier challenge, as they can often operate from anywhere.
We at i3 undertook a business continuity planning process last year, and we are now using those plans to have a set of concrete steps to take next week in case flooding keeps us out of our building. Our offices are located on the west side of Grand Rapids, about a half mile from the river, so we face the very real possibility of restricted access if streets in our neighborhood become flooded.
Our own plan provides for employees working from their homes or other safe locations with Internet access and power, and includes redirection of our office phone lines to employee cell phones. Most of our own IT infrastructure is already located at a secure, managed data center facility in the Grand Rapids area, so loss of power or Internet at our building will not impact our critical systems.
Your own plans may be similarly simple, or may be quite complex – but even if you’re not in an area likely to be affected by river flooding, take this opportunity to think about different kinds of events that may affect your business, and make plans to keep your business moving, even in the face of a significant event like this week’s flooding.
If you face any kind of IT problem next week, give us a call at 877-721-6400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether we’re working normally from our offices, or talking on cell phones from our kitchen tables, we will be there to answer your call and solve your problem. And when you are ready to develop your own business continuity plan, we can help with that too!