MURFRREESBORO — With economic challenges continuing to hit business owners like storm surges beating down upon coastal beaches during a hurricane, many business owners are likely redoubling their efforts around sales and streamlining operations as quickly as possible after a business interruption such as a storm or power outage. The reality though, is that not only valuable data and property may be at risk if disaster strikes but also financial stability for employees who might not have the ability to endure a lapse in pay due to a disaster and you are unable to process payroll. With many businesses worn down by the economic downturn, there are no financial margins, perhaps unlike years in the past. The risks even increase for small business owners if disaster hits the very company the business owner had planned to use as the base of their retirement plan.
September is National Preparedness Month. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released their hurricane predictions, forecasting nine to fourteen names storms this season, with four to seven developing into hurricanes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released its “worst case scenario” for the fall forecast of the Novel H1N1 Influenza. It is still too soon to see how severe it will be in terms of morbidity, but they are forecasting high levels of contagiousness translating into potential work absenteeism (25%-40%) from employees either sick or staying home to care for a sick person or on account of schools being closed. What is clear is that the virus is not going away and employers will play a key role in protecting employees’ health and safety as well as limiting the negative effects on the economy and society. The federal government underscores the importance of planning now, such as cross-training and establishing policies for employee compensation and sick leave absences unique to a pandemic.
The Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross is pleased to host a business continuity/emergency preparedness workshop on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 from 9 am – 3 pm at our office on Commercial Court in an effort to help small businesses in our community be prepared though the development of a *business continuity plan. The cost of the one day workshop is $300 per person (2nd employee $50). As part of the training, attending businesses will receive help in completing their BC/DR plan and start to benefit from the value it will bring to the company. Lunch will also be included. A few of the benefits include:
· Improved Process
· Peace of Mind
· Insurance Savings
· Client Confidence
· Increased stockholder value
· Technology Efficiencies and Savings
Areas that are covered through the development of a qualified BC/DR plan are:
· Disaster Prevention
· Specifics on Pandemic Issues
· Vendor Vulnerability
· Establish Recovery Teams and Checklists
· Policies and Procedures
· Telecommunications Recovery
· Call Trees for Notification of Employees & Vendors
Registration details here:
Participants can register online at: www.midtnredcross.org/BCDRWorkshop.html or by calling: 615-893-4272 x. 103
The training will be provided by John Hilley, Principal of Patmos Consulting (www.patmosconsulting.com) for the last three years, his work has been focused upon helping organizations eliminate unnecessary risks through the development of business continuity/disaster recovery plans. He has played a key role on coordinating disaster response and recovery efforts across 10 Louisiana parishes post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. John is a disaster volunteer with the Red Cross and has worked with the Nashville and Memphis regions helping the Red Cross to provide a coordinated regional effort.
Potential participating companies are encouraged to visit www.patmosconsulting.com to take a free five minute survivability index survey that will rate your current level of risk and degree of preparedness.
*Business Continuity Planning is the process of planning and retooling your business practices to ensure that your business survives a crisis or an impact. It involves risk assessment and risk management, and taking action steps to reduce the risk. It includes checklists outlining such issues as to how you will communicate with employees, vendors and customers without having access to your building or data systems or how you will resume operations to get your product to your customers and maintain invoicing. It is a plan that exists before a business interruption occurs.
The Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross provides vital emergency assistance to help victims of local disasters in Rutherford, Bedford, Cannon, Franklin, Coffee & Moore counties. Over the past year the Chapter trained nearly 15,000 people in CPR & First Aid, Babysitting and Aquatics training, and provided pre-deployment briefings and emergency communications for over 640 active duty military personnel and their families. Over 13,177 pints of life-saving blood were collected from the community last year. All of these services are made possible by over 320 dedicated local Red Cross volunteers as well as through generous gifts from the local community. To get more information please call 615) 893-4272 or log on to www.midtnredcross.org.