Creating a Disaster Plan for Your Business

Jul 13, 2023 3 min read

As a small business owner, there’s a lot of planning that goes into protecting what you’ve built overtime. But making sure you know how to prepare for a natural disaster can save you from unnecessary stress when an incident happens. A disaster preparedness plan can help make sure you and your small business are ready for the unexpected. 

Why You Need a Business Disaster Plan

Just like any investment, no matter the size, there is always a lot of time, money and effort that goes into starting your business. Having a natural disaster plan for your business can protect you from financial loss, interrupted sales or operations. Creating a business continuity plan can also be helpful so that your business operations can continue during a disaster. 

How to Implement a Business Emergency Preparedness Plan

You can help your business be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster by following these seven steps:

  1. Program Management

In certain situations, there are minimum regulations that you must be aware of when managing risk for certain businesses. As a business owner, you should prepare and know if the minimums are going to be enough. provides information on how to start your plan and guides you through all the information you should make a note of. 

  1. Establish Key Objectives

Creating a risk assessment for your business can help identify potential risks and hazards that your business can encounter. Your recovery plan should include the recovery time objective (RTO) and the recovery point objective (RPO) for your business. If your business closes due to a disaster, how long until you can open? 

  1. Assess the Risks to Your Business

As a business owner, you face various risks – power outages, natural disasters, supply chain disruptions and cybersecurity attacks, just to name a few. To prepare yourself for these disasters, you can conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify gaps. These could be in relation to your industry of work, your business location and how you operate your company. 

  1. Create Your Business Emergency Plan

After you’ve worked to identify risks to your business, consider putting together a business emergency plan. This includes emergency response, communication and data backup and recovery. 

  • Emergency Response Plan: Your emergency response plan should include things like evacuation routes, contact information, and roles and responsibilities for all team members. You’ll want to make sure your team members are all previously trained and know what to do when an emergency arises. 
  • Communication Plan: Establishing a communication protocol for your employees, customers and vendors can also keep everyone safe and save time. Having a pre-written text or email, along with the list of those important contacts, can alert everyone who often visits your business. A communication plan can also include what you want to communicate to everyone after the disaster happens. 
  • Data Backup and Recovery: With the technological world we live in now, we are all using technology systems to store important business information. Even though it is secure, technology can also cause issues. Make sure to have your data backed up regularly so that if you do experience an emergency, you have all your data stored somewhere else securely. 
  1. Allocate Resources

After you’ve identified the aspects of your emergency plan, check that you have the resources in place to maintain it. Your local Farm Bureau agent can provide information about Loss Control Services offered by Farm Bureau that help identify risks within business. While meeting with your agent, check that your small business insurance plan is meeting your needs. 

  1. Test and Exercise the Emergency Plan

To evaluate the program's effectiveness, including the success of employee training, management should run tests and drills to see what works and note opportunities for improvement.

  1. Identify and Address Program Weaknesses

During testing or an actual incident, weaknesses in the program are likely to be revealed. They should be documented, along with lessons learned and strategies for addressing such problems in the future.

Alternative Business Disaster Preparedness Resources

The Small Business Administration ( offers a number of resources designed to help small businesses shore up their emergency preparedness, including links to templates and worksheets that will help you gather the data you need to put together the various written documents. The SBA's Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan outlines the various ways in which the SBA can assist businesses recovering from disasters.

The American Red Cross also provides resources for small businesses that are preparing for the possibility of disasters and emergencies. American Red Cross Ready Rating is a self-guided online program designed to help member businesses, organizations, and schools assess their level of emergency preparedness. The core of the program is a 123-point assessment that is used to gauge one's level of preparedness. Members also have access to a variety of online tools and resources to help create and refine a disaster preparedness plan. Examples include a hazard vulnerability assessment worksheet, an emergency response notification procedures document, and a damage assessment form. Visit to view the program. hosts a variety of sources on disaster preparedness for business owners, including:

  • Downloadable educational information on how to prepare your business for a disaster.
  • An archive of webinars to help you plan your disaster preparedness and recovery strategy.
  • A framework of testing strategies to implement in order to assess your disaster preparedness.
  • Resources from the SBA on the types of disaster assistance available to businesses.

Finally, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety ( offers a variety of resources, including research reports and an online tool that allows you to enter your Zip code and receive information about specific risks in your area. Disasters are unpredictable, and they can put you, your employees, and your business in jeopardy. But many of their worst effects can be prevented, or at least mitigated, through a structured disaster management plan.

If you have questions about how your business insurance coverage can help protect you, connect with a Farm Bureau agent today.

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