As we sit here in Raleigh watching the news about Hurricane Florence (and several tropical disturbances behind her), we started to wonder how many law firms are prepared to deal with a potential large-scale emergency. All businesses should have disaster preparedness plans to accommodate small issues – like a server outage or water leak in the building – as well as larger scope problems like a hurricane, flooding, or wildfires.
Smaller issues can disrupt your business and cause inconvenience. A larger problem can leave you scrambling to operate your business for weeks or even months. A few high level thoughts as you review your emergency preparedness plans (or quickly write them!):
- People come first – make sure your team members and their families are safe.
- Communicate with your active clients ahead of time (if the potential issue is known) or as soon as possible afterwards.
- Make plans to support your clients – this may include having offsite backups of all case materials or cloud storage; if electricity is out at your offices for any period of time, you may need to secure offsite work facilities in another location.
- Keep contact information with you, including employee and client phone numbers, as well as your insurance agent’s information.
- Share the emergency plan with your team. Everyone should know exactly what to expect.