Planning what to do in case of a disaster is an important part of being prepared. The BBB and the IRS offer the following tips to help consumers and businesses help safeguard their records:
• Take Advantage of Paperless Recordkeeping for Financial and Tax Records and backup your electronic files regularly. Store your records in a location in your home where you may be able to quickly retrieve your records.
• Document Valuables and Business Equipment. Taking photos or videotaping the contents of your home and/or business can be very beneficial.
• Check on Fiduciary Bonds. Employers who use payroll service providers should ask the provider if they have a fiduciary bond in place. The bond could protect the employer in the event of default by the payroll service provider.
• Continuity of Operations Planning for Businesses. How quickly your company can get back to business after a disaster often depends on emergency planning done today. Start planning now to improve the likelihood that your company will survive and recover. Review your emergency plans annually. Just as your business changes over time, so do your preparedness needs. When you hire new employees or when there are changes in how your company functions, you should update your plans and inform your people.
The following preparedness strategies are common to all disasters.
• Get informed about hazards and emergencies and learn what to do for specific hazards.
• Develop an emergency plan.
• Learn where to seek shelter from all types of hazards.
• Back up your computer data systems regularly.
• Decide how you will communicate with employees, customers and others.
• Use cell phones, walkie-talkies, or other devices that do not rely on electricity as a backup to your telecommunications system.
• Collect and assemble a disaster supplies kit. Include a portable generator.
• Identify the community warning systems and evacuation routes.
• Include required information from community and school plans.
• Practice and maintain your plan.