Disaster Planning

Plan now for impending disasters

Nearly 75 printing companies closed last year because of the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf Coast.

The Carolinas have had their share of devastating hurricanes as well, most notably Floyd in 1999. This year, the National Weather Service is predicting a very active hurricane season, highlighting the Carolinas northeastward.

Before the warnings are issued, now is the time to prepare your companies and homes for a potential threat from hurricanes and other disasters. Disaster planning is critical to maintaining or recreating a business after a disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, nuclear explosion/attack, or even a terrorist attack.

There are some things printing companies can do to ensure their survival and the survival of their customers, which makes for good selling points.

Files, facilities, finances

The first thing in a disaster recovery plan is to do regular backups and store the physical backups (disks, CDs, hard drive) in an offsite location. The backups should contain all your financial and customer information, as well as the graphic files (including fonts) of jobs.

While not much can be done when a tornado is bearing down on a building, making sure your insurance on the building is current is a necessity. Preparing the building for an impending hurricane, however, does take time, but its well worth it. Preparing plywood to secure doors and windows ahead of time will save money, time and headaches in the long run.

Customers rely on printed material such as checks and invoices when they suffer in a natural disaster and lose these printed goods, they will look to their printing vendors for help. Working with your customers on securing reprints for these jobs in case of an emergency can offer a much-needed service (and a great selling point) to your customer base.

Make sure that you have plenty of cash on hand as electrical outages will also affect ATM machines and banks.

Helpful sites for disaster planning

Jackson Lewis, LLP is an employment law attorney. For more information on the PICA members-only benefit program with Jackson Lewis, LLP, call Ellison McCoy directly at (864) 232-7000 or PICA at (704) 357-1150.

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