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Emergency Planning/Business Continuity

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 11, 2019
Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2019



With Tropical Storm Barry heading toward the Gulf Coast this week, our SDA Baton Rouge Chapter shared their Emergency Planning checklist during their recent chapter meeting. It was developed by the chapter in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina and it has been shared and used ever since.  Whether your weather in your area includes hurricane season or other potential natural disasters, here’s a good checklist to get you thinking about your office’s emergency plan.


Before the Storm


  • Call all staff members together for a meeting to discuss emergency plans
  • Provide staff members resources for their personal safety from such sites as:  National Weather Service, FEMA, Hurricane Tracking Chart
  • Create a phone tree or directory of all staff members including their home phone number, cell phone number and personal email addresses
  • Consider any payroll deadlines that may be missed during storm/emergency
  • Forward phone lines to someone’s cell phone


  • Divide current client list and designate staff members to contact the client to check on well being of client and keep them apprised of status of firm
  • Check calendars for appointments on days immediately following storm and either cancel or reschedule


  • Back up all data
  • Secure server/move to better location
  • Distribute back up data


  • Take pictures of the building and equipment to document what is there
  • Unplug all electrical equipment
  • Move critical equipment into more secure area away from windows and doors
  • Drape electronics in plastic bags or other waterproof materials
  • Clean out the refrigerator
  • If there is danger of water intrusion to the building, consider removing files from bottom file drawers to safer location
  • Have a copy of insurance policy and contact information

After the Storm


  • Contact staff members/initiate phone tree to check on everyone and advise on return to work schedule
  • Have staff members take files that may be needed to work offsite on a thumb drive


  • Contact active clients to check on them and apprise them of the firm’s status
  • If office is closed consider posting a contact number on the door for clients


  • If payments were missed due to storm, ask about waiving late fees or additional charges
  • If cannot return to office consider moving server to site with electricity
  • If a generator is used to supply power to desktop computers, be sure to charge the battery backup first and then plug the computer system into the backup.  Do not plug your system directly into the generator.  If using a laptop computer, a surge protector is sufficient to protect it from fluctuating current provided by the generator
  • Access to the internet may not be available so consider purchasing a wireless air card


  • If building has damages, take pictures of building and equipment to document damage
  • Contact insurance company

Are there other items that you would add to this list? Share them in the Comment Box below.


Special thanks to Robin Rayburn and the SDA Baton Rouge Chapter for compiling and sharing this timely information.

Tags:  Business Continuity Planning  Emergency Plan Checklist  Emergency Planning  SDA 

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