Steps you take to protect your business before the disaster are called mitigation. Mitigation can be structural (changes to a building) or non-structural (changes to the way you do business). Studies show that for every dollar spent on mitigation, an average of four dollars is saved in a disaster through damage that is prevented.

Here are a few things you can do to lessen the impact of disaster on your business:

  • Facility Protection: If your business is in a floodplain, or in an area prone to earthquakes or hurricanes, retrofit your facility to withstand those hazards as much as possible.

  • Redundant Systems: Evaluate how your records are stored, particularly if you are in a hazard-prone area. Store copies of important records offsite or add extra protection to your current storage systems. Also consider adding a backup generator for important systems and processes in case of a long-term power outage.

  • Shelter Areas: Designate shelter areas for tornados or hazardous materials release. If you are in a tornado prone area, consider adding a safe room for employees. Consider accessibility for customers or employees with disabilities. Consider areas of refuge in a structure fire, such as stairwells with fireproof doors, where people who are unable to evacuate can wait to be rescued.

  • Have Appropriate Insurance: Make sure that your insurance covers the hazards you have identified. You may need to add to your existing policies.