Hurricane season officially began on June 1, and with experts predicting an “above-normal” forecast this year, it’s a very ideal time to implement or revisit the disaster recovery plan for your business or home. By taking a few steps before disaster strikes, business owners can reduce their stress when it comes time to file claims or rebuild after the catastrophic event.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shares these five tips to help you prepare for a disaster:

  1. 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. There are real benefits to being prepared for disasters. 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.
    • Practice and maintain your plan.
  2. Create Electronic Copies of Documents: Keep a duplicate set of key documents, such as bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies in a safe place. Doing so is easier now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically. Even if original documents are available only on paper, scan them into an electronic format and store them on DVD, CD or cloud storage.
  3. Document Valuables: It’s a good idea to photograph or videotape the contents of any home, especially items of higher value. Documenting these items ahead of time will make it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits after a disaster strikes. Photographs can help prove the fair market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims.
  4. 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.
  5. Update Emergency Plans: A disaster can strike any time, so be sure to review emergency plans annually. Personal and business situations change over time, as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes. Make plans ahead of time and be sure to practice them.

How Can Doeren Mayhew Help?

Our Business Advisory Group offers support in disaster preparedness, including helping you evaluate needs, identifying risks and/or reviewing your current plan to ensure it is the best fit your business. For more information, contact our Business Advisory Group today.