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Predictions for this year anticipate another bad hurricane season. Though there’s nothing we can do to prevent hurricanes or diminish their fury, we can take steps to minimize their impact and its effect on our business.
When it comes to maintaining business communications during a hurricane—and in its aftermath—having an answering service is the best line of defense. Follow these tips to prepare for a possible hurricane, as well as other extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, or pandemics.
Now is the time to prepare. Waiting until you must evacuate your facility is too late. Even delaying action until a hurricane bears down on your location may not give you enough time to react appropriately. Act today while the sun’s shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Then, when bad weather arrives, you’ll be ready.
Just as you want to take steps to protect your business and keep it operational in the event of a hurricane or other disaster, you want an answering service that has also taken these steps. How do you know if your answering service has a disaster preparedness plan? Simple, you ask.
Note that we’re not talking about a disaster recovery plan. Instead, specify a disaster preparedness plan. You need an answering service that has prepared to function fully through a disaster and not to merely recover from it.
Their plan should be in writing. And though it may not be appropriate for them to share their complete plan with you, they should have an overview or outline of key points. This will provide you with assurance that they have thought through all possible threats and have a contingency in mind, so they can provide you with continuous coverage regardless of the situation.
When considering the threat of hurricanes, you want an answering service well away from coastal regions. How far? Certainly a hundred miles inland provides a nice buffer, but it still may not be enough. You want an answering service away from the ocean. This is the best line of defense against being negatively affected by hurricane: pick an answering service that’s located where hurricanes don’t go.
Consider the Big Picture
In addition to hurricanes, there are other items to factor into your disaster recovery plan and the location of your answering service. Answering services in northern climes are also risky, because they’re subjected to dangerous winter weather such as blizzards and ice storms. Also avoid answering services located in earthquake-prone areas or around tornado alley.
The Perfect Place
What’s the ideal geographic location for an answering service that avoids all these disaster-related threats? How about Tennessee? It’s inland enough to avoid the impact of hurricanes. It’s not an earthquake-prone area. Winter blizzards and ice storms don’t affect it, and tornadoes are rare.
The bottom line is to contact your answering service today so that you can form a plan for them to maintain vital communications for you and your stakeholders in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.
Christopher Calhoun is president of Answering Service One, a new kind of answering service that wants to become your number one resource to handle all your telephone communication and customer service needs. Contact Chris at 865-505-0046.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.