7 steps to make sure your office is ready in case of an emergency

Published Monday, June 4, 2018 6:00 am
by Greg Tigges

We typically think of emergencies in the form of a large-scale natural or manmade disaster. But not every calamity comes with a five-alarm fire response. Most emergencies are everyday situations gone awry such as security hacks or even computer failure, affecting our lives and businesses wherever we work. The good news is the impact of these difficulties can be mitigated with thoughtful planning.


Putting your home office and small business disaster recovery plan in place.


With some analysis and planning, you can handle the most immediate small business disaster recovery needs for yourself and your employees:


1.    Start with a basic emergency response plan and make sure everyone knows what to do and where to do it in the event of an evacuation or shelter-in-place drill. Different disasters require different responses (tornado versus earthquake versus active shooter). Assign a safety manager and a method for everyone to check in with that person or each other, like having a place to rendezvous if the physical building is compromised.


2.    Create a list of emergency contact information that includes state and local emergency management agencies. Make sure you have the names of your financial institutions, major clients, insurance company and agents, and any key business contacts you may need to reach when things settle down. Check that your insurance is up to date and covers the possible disasters in your area.


3.    Prepare emergency supplies including food and first aid kits, and make sure you have backup power and a backup communications system. Encourage employees to assemble a personal emergency kit, especially those requiring medication.


4.    Keep backup data files stored off-site and place important documents in a safe deposit box. Xerox ConnectKey Technology enabled printers let you easily digitize documents and store in the cloud for better organization. And Xerox Web Capture Service automates and scans documents directly into web applications.


5.    Plan to have your building inspected to make sure it is safe to return. Be prepared to find alternative facilities and consider working out an agreement for space with another business.


6.    Include financial contingencies in your business plan if you have to shut down for an extended period of time. Also consider your ability to conduct business if suppliers or your employees and customers are unable to reach you.


7.    Be prepared to create notices using a communication method like social media to reach regular clients and the general public about your status after the disaster.


Disasters of a different kind


For today’s business owner and private citizen, security hacks and server or equipment failures can equal natural disasters in time and money lost.


Take steps now by making basic changes to your computer systems at home and work, like automating security updates so that you’re always covered with the latest malware protection.



  • Enable basic protections – Make sure automatic update programs are turned on and change or create passwords whenever you receive notices.

  • Security clearance – Wireless routers and access points don’t come secured by default so enable encryption or else anyone can easily connect to your Wi-Fi network.

  • Train up your people – For starters, avoid leaving documents at the printer and make sure they delete emails from people they don’t know, especially if it contains an attachment or hyperlink.

  • Upgrade – Refresh your hardware regularly and look for products that have security built in, like our AltaLink advanced printers that are certified by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP).


Remember to practice disaster recovery drills regularly and keep in mind that the first priority is preserving human life. The second is to limit property and inventory damage. Having a plan for your physical workplace and the work that will be impacted by an interruption to business is key.


Document Solutions of Springfield is proud to be the Xerox MFP and copier technology dealer serving southwest Missouri since 1994. With nearly 40 years of Xerox technology experience, our goal is to provide the community with the latest products, solutions, technology trends & other means of information and help your company make educated business decisions.


Our job involves helping clients answer questions and find ways to achieve success by improving efficiency, productivity, and controlling costs. 


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