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Posted By Matthew Mullenix, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Monday, August 27, 2012

As the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac rises for Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states, the need to prepare organizations for potential disruption of business becomes a growing concern.

LANO asks its members and others in the nonprofit community to do all they can to assure the safety of their staff and constituents as they deal with effects of the coming storm and its aftermath.

LANO Member the Baton Rouge Area Chamber shared a useful message and website today detailing measures every business should undertake in the event of potential disruption.

BRAC recommends that businesses should:

  • Have an evacuation plan that provides for everyone on the premises to leave the workplace safely and quickly
  • Maintain a list and contact information for all employees and mission-critical business partners (including work and cell phones, work and/or personal email addresses, PIN numbers, etc); the list should include employees, customers, vendors, bankers, attorneys, and insurance agents,
    establish a means of and plan for contacting employees who have been displaced from their homes by the disaster
  • Make clear arrangements for all staff to be able to contact the business or locate information about the business if it is temporarily closed or forced from its normal location
  • Establish procedures for succession of management
  • Identify operations critical to the company's survival and recovery
  • Decide which personnel and what records, procedures, and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating
  • Preserve vital business records, financial data, accounting records, personnel information, inventory information, etc.
  • Back up computerized records daily and store the backups, along with other vital records, at an off-site location (consider the use of a remote data center, if possible)
  • Plan how to continue operating if the building, plant, or store is not accessible
  • Prepare for lengthy power interruptions during and after a disaster (i.e., arranging for alternate power sources, fuel supplies, etc.), and
    maintain and distribute to employees and partners the contact information for FEMA and SBA disaster assistance.

In addition to these suggestions, BRAC recommends several online resources available to assist businesses with their hurricane planning and disaster response:

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