It's obvious too late to deal with Irene, but this certainly won't be the last weather-related crisis to hit the Valley and there is never a time where it is too late to plan. The Government actually has a great resource for disaster planning: Ready.Gov/business. The site itself contains a variety of resources that can help a business (or a family, for that matter) deal with a disaster.
Even more usefully, the site has a sample disaster plan. Here are some of the components of the plan:
- Contact information of key staff, alternative business location and emergency numbers.
- A review of potential disasters that could impact the business.
- The establishment of a formal crisis management team.
- Other businesses/individuals with whom coordination will be required.
- Critical operations that must continue, as well as who will be in charge of them.
- Critical suppliers & contractors, as well as potential alternative sources.
- An evacuation plan.
- A shelter location.
- A communications plan.
- A cyber-security plan and records back-up procedures.
As you can see, a lot goes into creating a fully functional back-up plan - but, that being said, it certainly is worth the effort - as this weekend's storm proved.