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Fred Martin, business continuation manager for Caterpillar Financial Services, offers these disaster preparation tips for contractors:
Small- to medium-sized businesses can survive a disaster better if they prepare ahead of time. First, identify what disasters are most likely to occur in your area. While everyone may encounter fire, for instance, a company in Chicago does not need to worry about hurricanes.
The next step is identifying the steps you would take during and after each type of disaster. There are many things you can do to prepare for a disaster, such as keeping a copy of your accounts receivable at an alternate location.
Another area often overlooked is the resiliency of your people. If your staff’s personal property or family members are affected in an event, it is not likely that they will be at work. Determine how you will address these issues.
There is a wealth of information and sample plans available online on two websites. The federal government has created http://www.ready.gov/ that offers great assistance to both families and businesses. It also has specific information on how to address different types of disasters. The American Red Cross website also gives disaster preparation tips for your home and family. Remember the saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”