If Disaster Strikes…Are You Prepared?

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates
According to the forecasting firm Eqecat, Superstorm Sandy may be the second most expensive storm in U.S. History. The death toll is 175 including at least 106 in the United States.

  • Estimated economic damage is $30-$60 Billion
  • 8.5 Million businesses and residences lost power
  • 7,400 National Guard Members supported the storm response

While most of the damage from Sandy was caused by high winds and flooding, there are any number of things that can create a catastrophe for your business.  So in the event you lost your power or your office was destroyed, how prepared would you be?

How confident are you that your disaster plan would enable you to quickly resume your operations?  Would your employees know what to do and where to go?  Do you even have a disaster plan? And no, offsite backups and a list of cell phones is not a disaster plan.

The purpose of this brief commentary is not to provide the wherewithal to write a plan, but rather to create awareness.  Our agency has over 500 clients and I’m guessing less than 10% have an effective Disaster Recovery Program.  Yet it isn’t rocket science and it is a critical component of your risk management program.

I don’t mean to brag, but I can tell you that if our office is destroyed (assuming we are not in it) we will be back in business in 48 hours.  We will have office space, the right computers, communication capability and power.  My employees will know where to go and what to do.  The only way I can make this statement is because we have partnered with a company that provides Disaster Recovery Services.  They helped us write our plan and have made arrangements to provide us with the office space we will need, the specific computers required, cell or sat phone capabilities as well as the generators and the fuel to run our temporary office.  They also provided us with the template we used to create our own unique Disaster Recovery Program.

We work with Agility Recovery Solutions.  We recognize that there are a number of different companies that provide these services, but whether or not you write your own Disaster Plan or partner with a company to help you develop one, the key is to have one.  Many businesses never recover from a disaster…will your company survive?