Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Epidemic - the other disaster

Has anyone in your company been sick this year? Have employees had to stay home with sick children? Have employees come to work sick and spread germs to others just because you didn’t have any other way to stay in business?

When we think of disasters, we usually think of flooding or winter storms. The recent flu scare was a bit of a wake up call to some. Sick employees can be a disaster that will cause businesses to suffer, and in this economy most can’t afford to be closed even one day.

Previously we have discussed what small businesses can do to stay in business immediately following a big storm stressing the importance of having a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). If your business does not have a COOP you may find yourself floundering when your employees call in sick.

To make sure your business continues running smoothing with fewer employees, include a section of information in your COOP that addresses this issue. When you write your epidemic COOP, a few questions that need to be answered are:

• Who will be in charge and who will take over if that person is not available?
• Who can work from home?
• Which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating?
• Do you have an emergency fund to get through tough times?
• How can you provide good customer service and meet deadlines with fewer employees?

More information about COOP plans is available on the Internet and Oregon Emergency Management would also be happy to assist. Planning ahead can save you money.