Critical business records should be backed up by one or more methods
(e.g. second print copy plus and electronic version or cloud) with at least one version stored off-site. To help determine whether a document or record is critical, consider the following questions:
- Is the record required for business success?
- Is it required for legal reasons?
- Is it required by a regulatory agency?
- Is it required to support recovery efforts?
If you have employees, payroll continuity is an extremely important consideration, especially if you are dealing with a widespread emergency. Providing this continuity would assist with disaster-related problems at home and meet their personal financial obligations. You may want to establish a farm business policy for:
- Direct deposit of pay cheques for all employees;
- Overtime pay during an emergency; and
- One week’s pay or other amount even if your business is not operational.
A special note on passwords: Have you considered how someone else might access your passwords, should you become incapacitated? Have a plan in place!
Although market interruption is an industry-wide problem, we cannot fully rely on government to provide financial compensation. Do what you can to build a safety net to get you through a few months without income.
If you had to evacuate or could not return to your home or farm, how would you access your important personal documents: passport, medical, (list of prescriptions or other medication, health card), financial, insurance, etc.? Ensure they are copied and backed up as well.
Use fire-proof filing cabinets or boxes for important documents and computer records stored on-site. If you are not able to scan documents, snap a close-up photo with your cell phone.
Lastly, contact your insurance agent. Review your insurance coverage. Consider additional coverage for “all-hazard” situations (e.g. flood, hail damage).