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8/24/2007
12:19 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
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Weathering The Weather

Watch the news coverage of the Midwest floods and the toll they've taken on families, homes and holdings, and you can't avoid hearing -- and often -- from flood victims who discovered that their insurance didn't cover flood or landslide/mudslide damage. It's no great leap to extend those personal stories to small and mid-size business stories. How covered are you when a natural disaster strikes your business?

Watch the news coverage of the Midwest floods and the toll they've taken on families, homes and holdings, and you can't avoid hearing -- and often -- from flood victims who discovered that their insurance didn't cover flood or landslide/mudslide damage. It's no great leap to extend those personal stories to small and mid-size business stories. How covered are you when a natural disaster strikes your business?Not all the threats your business faces are digital, and not all of them are criminal.

If you don't have a disaster preparation and recovery plan in place for your business -- and, just as crucially, for your remote and mobile employees -- you're running a risk that could catch up with you without warning.

Are all of your business-critical and confidential files backed up and stored on a remote site? What's the date of your most frequent backup?

Do you have a contingency plan in place for running your business -- even minimally -- if your office equipment is destroyed, or if you face an extended period of time without electricity?

Do you carry sufficient insurance to replace that equipment -- and does the insurance cover the likeliest (and, to be safe, the most likely of the unlikely) natural disasters for your region?

Are all of your employees up-to-speed on your disaster and recovery plans?

For that matter, are all of your employees up-to-speed on assistance and support they could offer other employees (first) and your business (once you're sure everyone is all right) in the event of a natural disaster?

Some of you may be experiencing some of this first-hand: in addition to the floods over the past few days, a power outage has knocked out a chunk of Chicago's electric grid as I write.

When natural disaster strikes you'll have plenty to deal with without being distracted -- or heartbroken -- by matters you could have dealt with earlier.

Make sure your overall security planning includes planning for weather and other natural catastrophes as well as digital disasters.

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