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Neighbors of Kane County

Does your small business have a disaster plan?

Nov 06, 2015 11:18AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

A majority of large businesses have contingency plans for catastrophes, but many small to medium companies do not, which can result in their demise in the wake of a disaster, according to experts.

According to the 2009 Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Survey from Charlotte, N.C.-based Agility:

90% of smaller companies (less than 100 employees) surveyed spend less than one day per month preparing and maintaining their continuity plans.

22% spend no time maintaining their plans.

20% of larger companies spend over 10 days per month on their continuity plans.

It is no surprise that smaller businesses trail larger ones in this respect. Smaller businesses often don’t have a risk manager employed to implement a plan, while large companies have that ability. Smaller companies are just now beginning to figure out how to get their arms around it, and they’re potentially more susceptible to events than a large company. Smaller businesses may perceive that implementing an all-hazards plan is too time-consuming and costly.

“Small businesses that don’t have a plan in place generally don’t survive after a disaster, whether it’s a flood or a tornado. We see that anywhere from 40–60% of those that are hit like that simply don’t come back to business,” said David Paulison, former executive director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He added, “The truth is that it’s not that difficult to put a plan together to survive any type of catastrophic event.”

FEMA, Homeland Security and the Small Business Administration have great web sites with detailed steps for putting a plan together as well as practicing the plan to make sure it works. Some sites which are free and easy to use include: