Corona Virus: Wash Your Hands; Create A Business Continuity Plan; Wash Your Hands Again!
America is bracing uncertainly for a possible pandemic. There are no confirmed cases of Corona virus in North Carolina at this time.
Right now, the Center For Disease Control recommends some basic, common-sense measures to prevent getting sick, including properly washing your hands frequently, staying home if you are sick, covering your mouth when you cough (with a tissue or cough into your elbow instead of your hand) and avoiding people who are coughing and sneezing. Most of us are used to doing this all winter during flu season.
For those of you with small businesses, we'd like to remind you that you can, and should, plan for the unexpected with a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
A BCP allows you to get your business up and running as soon as possible after a disaster. A BCP should include lists of emergency contact information, both internal and external, and a detailed recovery plan should be developed with employees from all business units and levels of your company.
In this particular situation, as opposed to a weather event, the plan should focus on keeping your business running remotely. This will be easier for some businesses (such as office settings) and very difficult for businesses like retail, restaurants and manufacturing.
Begin by assessing the potential risks to your business’s ability to deliver products or services to customers. You should also assess how to keep your employees safe and how to communicate with them.
Have a file you can reach from anywhere with contact information for all employees. Establish a communication mechanism in advance (phone tree, emails, texts, post to company’s website or intranet, announcement to media, etc.)
Make sure you can contact your critical customers and suppliers from home.
Is your data backed up off-site and able to be reached remotely? Can employees telecommute? Do you have adequate computer security?
How are you protecting and preserving confidential client and employee information?
Once you have all the necessary information, put your plan in writing. Create step-by-step instructions on what to do, who should do it, when it should be done and how. Ensure that critical personnel have copies of the plan and keep a copy off-site, too. Then, practice and maintain your plan.
The best resource for local information will be local health departments. Here is the link for the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
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