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It pays to be prepared in business. No-one likes to think about disaster striking - especially when everything is going well - but complacency truly is the enemy of success. It’s best to be aware of emergencies that may threaten your business so that you can take steps to prepare for them ahead of time. Then you will know that if the worst does happen, you are ready to protect the organisation that you have worked so hard to build. 
#1 - Another Pandemic 
 
We’re not yet out of the current covid-19 pandemic, so the last thing you want to do is thinking about another one occurring, but it’s important to do just that. At the start of 2020, many businesses went under because they simply weren’t prepared and so it’s vital to create an action plan should another global health crisis occur. 
 
The first way to prepare for another pandemic is to ensure that you have the right remote working procedures in place so that you can seamlessly switch to telecommuting without causing any disruption to your business. It’s important to invest in the right software and tools so that your team has everything they need to succeed without being physically present. 
 
It’s also crucial to have an emergency fund in place. A financial buffer will make all the difference if there’s a sudden halt to your cash flow. It’s also a good idea to seek a line of credit whilst the going is good so that you get the best possible rates and limit, even though you hopefully won’t need to use it. 
 
#2 - A Natural Disaster 
 
A natural disaster, such as a fire, flood or hurricane, could wipe out your physical premises and data overnight. 
 
In the UK, for example, severe winter flooding can cost businesses upwards of £5 billion per year. 
 
One way to prepare is to digitise all of your files and ensure that your data is stored in the cloud. It’s a good idea to automate regular backups so that you can be sure your data is up-to-date in the event that you do need to recover it. Thanks to cloud storage, your business could be back up and running in mere minutes even if your on-site servers were damaged or destroyed. 
 
You should also have a clear, point-by-point disaster recovery plan in place to minimise the impact of a natural disaster on your business. This includes: 
 
Exit instructions 
Emergency contact information 
Safety protocols 
A remote working plan 
 
#3 - A Cyber Attack 
 
The shift to remote working during the covid-19 pandemic has presented cyber criminals with a whole host of opportunities to attack. 
 
A government survey found that 39% of UK businesses were subjected to a cyber attack during the first quarter of 2021 alone. Some attacks halted operations for hours, whilst others brought businesses down for weeks at a time and cost millions of pounds. 
 
The best way to prevent a cyber attack is to put appropriate security measures in place and invest in cybersecurity. A few preliminary measures to take include: 
 
Two factor authentication for all team members 
Requiring staff to use a VPN when working from home 
Using an email spam filter service 
Training staff on how to spot a threat 
Outsourcing cybersecurity to an expert company 
 
It’s also important to have a plan in place to make sure that your business survives if an attack does happen. 
 
As discussed, cloud software can protect your organisation and have you back up and running in relatively little time. 
 
You should endeavour to find out which information has been stolen or compromised as quickly as possible, notify your team, identify who has been affected and maintain honest lines of communication with your customers. 
 
Summary 
 
It’s no fun to think about catastrophes, but preparing for the worst will enable your business to survive if disaster does strike. Being ready for pandemics, natural disasters and cyber attacks can make all the difference in terms of overcoming these difficulties. 
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