August 23, 2014

Emergency Planning

Backup Plan

Barbara Miracle | 6/1/2007

"We're going to do fewer things with our students and do them extremely well," says Jeanette Johnson, principal at the new Lorenzo Walker Technical High School in Naples. [Illustration: Masterfile]
Florida's insurance woes have put the spotlight on securing property with hurricane shutters, roof ties and reinforced doors. But for businesses, protecting data is often the key to survival after a disaster. "It can be very easy to do. You don't need a million-dollar solution," says Tom Serio, director of global business continuity management for Office Depot and spokesperson for the office supply retailer's campaign to educate small and medium-sized businesses on disaster preparedness.

  • Getting Started
    Identify critical information, digitize it, back it up and store it in a safe location. There's no one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Identifying Documents
    Besides customer records, personnel files, insurance policies, legal documents and tax files, there are often proprietary documents that are vital, including a list of sales leads or the names of alternative vendors. It is important not to go overboard. Typically, no more than 2% of documents are critical, says Karen Unger, president and CEO of American Document Management in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Cost Factors
    The cost of protecting documents can be minimal or run into millions of dollars. Unger's scanning and retrieval services cost 8 cents to 12 cents a page for simple scanning and 17 cents to 25 cents a page for scanning with added retrieval tools.
Get a Plan
The state of Florida site has online forms to develop a business disaster plan. It includes basic information, a list of important records, contacts, backup suppliers and alternative locations. There are also links to emergency contacts in each county, the federal government's emergency planning website and SBA disaster loan forms.

Tags: Florida Small Business, Entrepreneur

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