Disaster can strike your agency in many forms: fires, severe weather, cyber-attacks, and intruders can interrupt your agency and cause serious damage. In any of these events, it is important for you and your agency to be prepared to handle each situation and to get back to business as soon as possible.
Your agency’s business continuity prep should focus on two elements: your people and your infrastructure.
Prepping Your People
- Create a disaster kit that includes items such as flashlights, batteries, matches, extra cash, and first aid items. Keep your kit stocked, checking on it multiple times throughout the year to ensure there are enough supplies for your staff.
- Make a plan for alerting employees and customers. Utilize phone, email and other online modes (i.e. social media and websites) to keep people up-to-date and informed.
- Find alternate work spaces, including giving employees the option to work from home. Look into disaster prep agencies that provide fully-equipped, ready to rent spaces in the event that your office will be compromised for a longer period of time.
- Establish a chain of command so employees know who to report to if certain individuals cannot perform their regular duties. Designate specific people as disaster marshals to aid in the flow of communication
Prepping Your Infrastructure
- Purchase generators and invest in reliable data storage to ensure your data is protected. Get cyber security coverage to protect against unforeseen data loss or damage.
- Set up a communication procedures that cover how to process and field calls. Take into account rerouting your agency number should your phone lines go down.
- Utilize cloud-based applications to ensure little to no interruption in the flow of your agency. With cloud applications in place you will be able to host meetings, share files, and take phone calls no matter where your staff is scattered during disaster recovery.
- Ready all your employees with easy claims processing through checklists and templates. Know that if your agency is experiencing disaster it is likely many of your customers are as well.
The goal in your preparation is to ensure your agency keeps running as normal as possible, while everyone involved stays safe. These and other elements are important pieces of your agency’s Disaster Contingency plan, which we will address in our next post.
In the interest of staying disaster ready, SIS uses cloud-based software for you Partner XE agency management system, making it easier for our clients to recover and access their data during a disaster. To find out more about Partner XE, and our personalized customer service, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.