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Office Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

Office Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

Diana Ennen

Disaster Preparedness is essential for disasters. A written plan of your insurance information, medical and personal information, as well as inventory of belongings and copies of your important papers will help you get back up and running after the disaster is over. Prepare now.

A complete plan of action of where you will go, what you will take, and who will be notified can save enormous stress and strain if you are evacuated.

Don’t let it happen to you.

Essential Tips on Disaster Preparedness

If you haven’t prepared a disaster recovery plan, now is the time to do so.

Diana Ennen, co-author of Home Office Recovery Plan: The Disaster Preparedness Guide for Your Home Business witnessed eight hurricanes in Florida including a direct hit from Hurricane Wilma. Ennen advises, "Being prepared for a hurricane or any natural disaster takes away the stress and anxiety. When timing is critical, I want to focus on the safety of my family, not on taking an inventory of my business or deciding where I need to go. I also need to know that my family members will know how to find me after the disaster.”

Here are some steps to take to prepare:

Step One Identify a safe place for everyone to meet. This predetermined place should be discussed with family members prior to an emergency. A second location should be discussed. Also, out-of-town relatives should be advised of this location. Additionally, each person should have a list of phone numbers for immediate neighbors and family members. 3×5 index cards work well.

Step Two Take an inventory now. Write down insurance policies, including insurance company and contact information, policy numbers, group numbers, date of births, coverage, etc. Write down an inventory of valuables. Take photos.

Step Three Write down all your company information, insurance information, attorney and accountant information, personal and family information and have a designated person who knows where it is. Don’t forget your web information and hosting company.

Step Four Protect your data — back up all your files and keep a copy off site. Pay special attention to client files.

Step Five Write down a complete family medical history. Include any medical conditions, medicines and dosages, doctors names and contact information, where medical records can be found, etc. Be specific. A life can truly depend on this one step alone.

Step Six Get a copy of all important information, wills, trusts, mortgages, deeds, birth certificates, contracts, medical record — even household bills to help get things restored quickly. Back up your computer. Get extra cash. Often ATMs are down so cash is needed.

The time to prepare is now.

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