Disaster Planning & Recovery

May 1998


Disaster Planning & Recovery

How to avoid or recover quickly from situations that - for the unprepared - can be devastating

by Elie Ribacoff

To succeed in business you must work hard, toil long hours and plan carefully. Planning can benefit many areas of your business, from avoiding lost sales by anticipating buying trends to avoiding disaster by anticipating security and safety needs.

Each year thousands of businesses suffer catastrophic losses and don't recover. These losses result from fire, robbery, burglary and seemingly inconsequential threats such as disgruntled employees, angry clients and computer failures.

Consider this all-too-common scenario: You're a long established jeweler and suffer a burglary. The store and vaults are emptied. You have insurance with a well-known and reputable insurance company. The next morning, the insurance agent and adjuster visit your store ready to assist in your claim.

They ask to review your records. You are proud of your computerized inventory system, but your computer is gone. No problem, you have a back-up tape in your vault. That's gone too.

You try to reconstruct your inventory from paper invoices and sales receipts. After three months you're still not done. You have no inventory, rent is due, employees leave, creditors want their money. Your insurance company can't settle your claim until it can verify the claims with your records. You are forced to close your doors.

The simple solution is an off-premises back-up of your business records. A copy at home or in a nearby safe deposit vault can be a life saver. Business interruption insurance is a more expensive option, but it could keep you afloat during the record reconstruction.

Physical injury and financial loss, can be disastrous. But more subtle events such as changes in your credit rating, credibility or image are all potential disasters as well. Any of these can affect your business adversely - even tragically. Thorough planning can help you avoid the situations or recover quickly from them.

Elie Ribacoff is president of Worldwide Security Systems & Consultants, a security consulting firm in New York, NY; (718) 380-0209, e-mail Eribacoff@wwsc.com.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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