Disasters can strike at any time. The world is increasingly becoming an unsafe and unpredictable place, with many businesses facing unprecedented uncertainty. The government has laid down emergency preparedness programs for its citizens as well as businesses that are seeking to resume operations shortly after a disaster. In this post, we’ll take a look at disaster preparedness plans for your business, the reasons why you need these, and how a hosted VoIP PBX might be your best bet to maintain communications after an unavoidable natural or man-made disaster.
Get Your Manual Ready
Disasters can come in any forms, shapes and sizes. From natural ones such as hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding to man-made ones such as terrorist attacks, these phenomena can jolt you to a screeching halt, forcing your business to lose money over a number of days and possibly set you back in relation to your competition. The first thing you need to ensure that you have is a disaster preparedness plan in the form of a manual that everyone is aware of.
This manual should contain:
- Information about personal safety, data rescue and, exits
- A well laid-out plan to set off a series of procedures to help your business get on the cloud and continue operations as possible in as little time as possible.
Set Up a Managerial Disaster Team
An important tip is to have a managerial team which will head disaster preparedness. This group of people should be comfortable making quick decisions at the drop of a hat, reliable to a fault, know your company from the inside out as well as be well versed when it comes to the risks that may be faced by your company at the worst of times. Lastly, they should be people who can come up with creative solutions to even the most unbelievable of disaster scenarios.
Identify Essential Services
Next, you want to identify essential services which need to keep running even in the middle of a huge disaster.
The objectives are:
- Ensuring essential functions/operations continue during an emergency.
- Protect the infrastructure, equipment, records and assets, including human assets.
- Mitigate or reduce disruptions of operations.
- Provide safety for human assets, minimize damages and losses.
- Achieve efficient recovery from a disaster/emergency and resume full service to public.
- Once you have these essentials figured out, you want to ensure that prioritize them in a pyramidal fashion, placing the most essential ones closer to the top.
Create a Detailed Plan
The third thing that needs to happen is the creation of a plan which will cover each essential service with detailed information about the individuals responsible for them, their backups, what each essential service covers, resources needed as well as steps which need to be followed to execute these services. Lastly, make sure to have a detailed contact list which can be used by your clients to get in touch with you should they experience problems.
Always Be Reachable
When it comes to communications, it’s important to always be online. People will instinctively reach for the phone to get in touch with you a few hours after a disaster hits in order to be able to have their services resume as soon as possible. If you’re relying on ordinary telephone communications, you’ll be in for a rude shock because they will not be working. Telephone wires are prone to damage if an outside force hits them, and telephone service providers may be forced to abandon buildings that house their operations, leaving you high and dry.
Why VoIP Hosted PBX is Ideal in a Disaster Situation
VoIP Hosted PBX is a form of communication which relies on the internet, the cloud and a specialized wireless phone which can last longer than your average cell phone. What makes it different from traditional analog communicqation is the unmatched reliability it offers to clients on account of the fact that it uses the internet to transmit pockets of voice data. In addition, it is cloud-hosted, meaning that it relies on virtual servers which may be anywhere in the world. What’s great about this is that these servers may be located in an area which hardly has to face disasters for various reasons (fairly good weather, a stable government and tight security), making sure that you are always on at all times.
Being hit by a disaster may mean that your employees won’t be able to access the office for one reason or the other.
By arming them with a VoIP phone with capabilities such as:
- The ability to access company employees remotely.
- Collaborating with other workers via conference calls.
- Take the phone with them anywhere and use it anywhere there is internet.
Ensures that they are able to solve any post-disaster problem in a fast and reliable manner.
Scalability During Disasters
With cloud-based hosted PBX, you can have your calls rerouted every time your phone rings, making you available at any time. On top of that, hosted PBX centers provide you with a series of active and inactive phone numbers you can use interchangeably, something which may be vital especially if you’re running a large business with a sizable staff.
All Equipment is Off-Site
Hosted PBX has the added advantage of it being maintenance-free, and the luxury of you not having to allocate space for equipment on site. The plug and play capabilities of this kind of technology can make any space your business which is something you may have to do in the face of a disaster given the inaccessibility of certain parts of the city or town you’re in following an event.
Zero Maintenance- No Headaches
With hosted PBX, you can also say goodbye to maintenance costs, and have the option of adding or removing lines easily to keep up with your company’s changing needs. Your IT team also won’t need to be involved since lots of the companies which offer this kind of service provide you with installation, monitoring and troubleshooting services as part of the package.
Disasters can strike at any time. By making sure that your communications infrastructure is up and running minutes after they hit, you’ll be creating unmatched reliability which will go a long way in fostering customer loyalty as well as the opportunity to reach other markets which may always be in the line of fire as far as disasters are concerned.