Tips For Business TeleCommunications Systems And Emergency Response

Emergency business communications planBusiness telecommunications systems are not immune to emergency situations.  Having a disaster plan and having a business system can be the reason your business survives the storm.

Hurricane Sandy reminds us that it is important to have an emergency preparedness or disaster plan in effect for situations where you may lose communications.  For businesses affected in the path of the Hurricane, losing power may mean losing business communications with the resulting inability to respond to clients or customers.

Technology and business communications systems make it easier to deal with emergencies.  Now that the imminent danger is past, it’s a good time to review the situation and prepare for the next event.  Here are Some items to include in your business contingency plans.

  1. Notification procedure.  Be sure to have a current list of contact information for all employees.  Have a plan to notify of disruptions or changes.   Designate who should make the decision to notify and who should be notified.  If the offices are closed or the situation warrants staying closed, have a call list or dark website available for associates to check for changes or updates.
  2. Redundant systems.  If all of your data is lost because your computer was in the building that was flooded, you should still have a backup.  If the backup is physical, it can also be lost.  Having a cloud based backup system for your network will facilitate keeping your business operational.
  3. Duplicate important records.  Some records may be paper based.  If they are important, they should be duplicated and stored offsite.  In the event that you have to leave a location quickly, having these important documents in a place where you can put your hands on them quickly may be critical.
  4. Mobile teleworking system.  Newer business phone systems can incorporate smart phones and tablets into the network.  Mobile workers can connect from anywhere and can be hooked into the phone system as if they were in the office.  Having a business telephone system that enables remote workers is critical when a primary location is unavailable.
  5. Prioritize business functions.  Prioritize those functions that must be resumed immediately and differentiate them from the processes that are less important.  Assign responsibilities for these functions to key personnel.
  6. Suppliers and Partners.  Have available a contact list of suppliers and partners. In the event of an emergency, contact them to let them know what to expect and when or if operations may resume.   Have a method to cancel deliveries or reroute them.
  7. Notify customers.  Have an email list or mailing list in a safe place so you can reach out to customers to advise them of the situation.  Utilizing an email service provider and keeping that list updated helps to reach out to your customers quickly when needed.

There are always things that can happen that are unexpected and which can impact business.  Having a plan and having redundancy in business operations can mitigate business losses.

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