In the wake of this year’s devastating hurricanes in Florida and the Gulf Coast, businesses are reminded of the importance of having a disaster plan in place. According to the American Red Cross, up to 40 percent of small business that are damaged by a major disaster will not reopen.
To help businesses create site-specific plans, the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies produced a Business Recovery Planning Guide. Introduced in 2003, the interactive CD-ROM features editable questionnaires and checklists to help companies analyze their current exposures and develop a business-recovery plan.
“As this year’s hurricanes have shown, a disaster can strike at any time and the effect can be devastating,” said Steven Hernandez, senior vice president of Chubb & Son and worldwide loss control manager for Chubb Commercial Insurance. “Still, many businesses remain unprepared, and consequently, may find themselves out of business following a catastrophic event. Companies that survive a disaster are inevitably those that plan ahead – survival requires planning.”
Hernandez said many businesses lack the resources to either hire a consultant or develop their own business-recovery plan. As a result, he said, many companies do not even have an employee emergency-notification process in place, nor have they identified an alternative location should their facilities become uninhabitable.
“Chubb’s guide is available to any business that wants to develop a comprehensive recovery plan to help protect its employees, physical assets, revenue and reputation in the event of a fire, hurricane, earthquake, technological crisis or other disaster,” he said.
Chubb’s Business Recovery Planning Guide encourages companies of all sizes to think about what can happen and plan for various disaster scenarios. The guide outlines the three stages of business-recovery planning: disaster preparation, emergency response and business continuation. The CD-ROM format offers planning considerations as well as editable questionnaires and checklists that can be completed and saved for future reference. Although the guide focuses on planning for a disaster, by helping companies assess the hazards it may face, it encourages them to take steps to reduce or eliminate those potential hazards.
Once a business has activated its emergency-response plan, made sure its employees are safe and has a disaster under control, it can begin the process of recovering from the disaster.
“Business income and extra expense insurance can help reopen the doors to shuttered businesses after a disaster, but it’s not enough,” Hernandez said. “A business-continuation plan is key to determining how best to use insurance dollars and human resources following a disaster. Chubb’s interactive guide can help businesses develop this final element into a comprehensive business-recovery plan.”
Chubb policyholders can contact their independent agent or broker to obtain a copy of the Business Recovery Planning Guide. Policyholders and other businesses can also order a free copy of the guide by visiting www.chubb.com/forms/recovery.html.
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