Is Your Small Business Ready For A Sandy?

As the East coast of the US continues the recovery process from Hurricane Sandy (and is even now bracing for a Nor’easter-these people cannot catch a break) we thought a little veer off the social media path was warranted. So instead of my usual post about Facebook, Google or whatever else I’m thinking about, I thought a little post about how small business can prepare and deal with disasters might be good.

Let’s start with some disaster stats that may surprise you:

  • The median cost of downtime for an SMB is $12,500 per day.
  • Less than half of SMBs back up their data weekly and only twenty-three percent back up daily.
  • Of those SMBs with plans only twenty-eight percent have ever tested them.

Symantec’s 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey shows that most small businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, forty-one percent said it never occurred to them and about the same number said it wasn’t a priority. I wonder how many of them are in New Jersey?

More than 25% of small businesses will experience a significant crisis in a given year and of those with no emergency plans in place forty-three percent never reopen and only twenty-nine percent of them are open two years later. This is really amazing when you think how disaster planning is relatively simple.

And let’s just say you’re thinking, “I live in Never Ever Gonna Happen Land, this doesn’t apply to me.” A disaster doesn’t have to be something that strikes a million people or dozens of businesses. It may just happen to you. Flood, fire or even street construction could keep customers away, cybertheft could corrupt your data from outside your company or an employee could open a link in an email because they want to help a Nigerian prince regain his throne. Because, people just want to help people. And get 12 million dollars.

So get ready for a disaster. Because it will probably happen. And even if you think you’re prepared, you may be surprised. Dan Simon, president of Cognito, a New York based marketing and PR firm, has a great article at Forbes about what they did right and wrong during Sandy and it’s worth a read.

There are some also really good resources for SMBs to prepare for, and then confront, disasters when they happen. So take a spin around and get ready.

The Small Business Administration good site for preparedness and management.

Emergency Management –an all-hazards online publication for emergency management, public safety and homeland security stakeholder. This is a fantastic and timely resource for any sort of disaster management. offers tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards. Includes a ready response plan and business continuity plan.

The American Red Cross has a page with a preparedness assessment so you can see just how ready you are in case of a disaster.

Here’s hoping to a good, if not speedy, recovery for all small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. And to everyone else coping with her aftermath, we can’t imagine what you’re going through, but we wish you all the best.




Author Amanda Hall

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