• Document: The make and model of critical equipment and whether alternatives are available. Include a list of suppliers who have the equipment, with contact information. Create a quick reference guide with information about the equipment, what steps need to be taken to move it, if appropriate. If a limited number of people know how to operate the system or equipment, consider affixing procedures for use to the equipment itself. Make sure at least two staff members know where critical equipment is located.

  • Look: At your vital records and decide how to best protect them. Are records routinely backed up? If so, to where? What form is the record in (paper, digital, microfilm, etc.)?

  • Choose: Which systems to back up or recover vital records, identify alternatives or duplicates for vital equipment, identify what form the record is in (paper, digital, microfilm) and where it is stored. Also identify where and how the record is backed up. If it is backed up to a server, where is the server located? Consider a place that is practical and safe, if the building is evacuated. Back up your computer records daily and store them offsite overnight. For vital records, keep customer lists, accounts receivable/payable records, and supplier records backed up and offsite. Have multiple lists of important contacts in different locations. Keep insurance policies in a secure location, and have copies in other locations. Have a list of the locations of important business information and make copies for future reference.

Finding the capital to replace critical assets and reopen can be difficult and risky if done haphazardly, especially if the business was not insured properly.