SDA e-Wire
Blog Home All Blogs
Welcome to our new SDA Blog which we've called the e-Wire. We hope you enjoy the insights and information that will be shared here by our authors. Be sure to leave a comment and share with others.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: SDA  Society for Design Administration  New Members  President's Message  Word Nerd  EDS19  Leadership  EDS18  PPC Grant  SDA National  EDS17  Emergency Planning  Networking  Organization  Resolutions  To Do List  Welcome  A/E/C Contracts  A/E/C Industry  Accounting  AEC  Annual Business Meeting  Belayer  Berkley Design Professionals  Better Person  Better Writer  blockchain technology  Boost Visibility  Business Contingency Planning  Business Continuity Planning 

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (4)

September is Emergency Preparedness Month

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 24, 2018
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2018

September is National Preparedness MonthAs the wildfires in the west and more recently, Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, remind us, we all need to be prepared for a variety of emergencies, both at home and at work. Is your office ready for the emergencies that might arise in your area? Remember, "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead, But You Can." 

The emergency could be large (fire, flood, storm, etc.) or it could be something smaller that impacts the ability of your firm to operate for a few hours or days (power outage, pipe burst, etc.). SDA has many resources to help you think about and prepare for emergencies. Have you completed a Company Emergency Plan to consider all of the emergencies that might affect your firm in your particular location?  Find a template in our Office Administration Forms and Templates toolkit. SDA offered a webinar a while back entitled "Emergency Preparedness for Home and Office" that covers some of the basics for a home and office emergency plan and the items that need to be planned for in advance, as well as ways to help your office practice for them.  Is your front desk ready for the office security issues that could arise? SDA also provided a webinar that reviewed the issues to consider as well as ways to help your front desk team be prepared to handle situations in a calm manner.  You can find all of these resources in the SDA Store (use keyword search "Emergency").

In addition to the resources offered as a benefit to being a member of SDA, our discussion forum has several conversation threads about topics related to emergency planning.  Be sure to join in the conversation or start a new topic to get your particular questions answered by the SDA community. 

What does your firm do to prepare for business continuity planning? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment box below.

Tags:  Business Contingency Planning  Emergency Planning  Front Desk Security  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Shop at Amazon and Help SDA

Just click the Amazon banner image or use this link: SDA on Amazon and you'll help SDA at no cost to you.

SDA is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

7014 Old US Highway 68
Georgetown, OH 45121

(M-TH 9am -4pm Eastern)