As a business leader, your role is to ensure that your company is able to operate predictably and generate revenue at all times. Often this is easy, but here's the honest truth - you're always living with the threat of a natural disaster. Even if business is booming today, there's still the possibility that tomorrow, an earthquake or flood will come along and derail your productivity.

"When a catastrophic incident puts your business under pressure, you'll need to respond quickly and decisively."

Fortunately, your business can take steps to minimize the negative impact of a disruption like this that is outside of your control. There's a lot more to it than simply praying for good luck. When a catastrophic incident puts your business under pressure, you'll need to respond quickly and decisively, which is when having a strategic business continuity plan mapped out in advance can make all the difference.

This goes beyond simply ensuring that you have a location to work in and computers to use. The most important asset of any business is its talent. If you want to maintain business continuity in the face of adversity, you'll need people to step up and work at a moment's notice. This is why many corporate leaders have lined up contingent staffing plans to help them respond to disaster scenarios.

Manpower Is Vital To Contingency Planning

Just about every business has some sort of planning process ready for potential disasters. But according to The Staffing Stream, not enough of them go so far as to plan for staffing issues. Debra Bergevine, vice president of marketing at DCR Workforce, sees this as a major shortcoming.

"Efficient companies today enact business continuity and disaster recovery plans as an essential part of their operational planning," Bergevine noted. "Most have periodic evacuation drills. However, how many of these companies explicitly address their temporary workers in these plans?"

If your workforce is hamstrung for any reason, you may need additional workers to pitch in. It's wise to plan for this in advance.

The Goal Is To Minimize Loss

Why is advance planning so important? Simple, because if you're not ready to respond at a time of crisis, your company will lose money rapidly.

According to The Houston Chronicle, your No. 1 goal in any disaster scenario is to minimize loss. Cindy Phillips of Demand Media says that effective planning is part of this.

If you're unprepared, a disaster can be devastating to your budget.If you're unprepared, a disaster can be devastating to your bottom line.

"When a business experiences a disruption, whether it is a power outage or a natural disaster, a contingency plan helps minimize the loss of production," Phillips explained. "There may be a cost associated with devising a contingency plan and maintaining it, but when measured against the cost of production loss, it will be minimal."

How Prepared Is Your Business?

It's not easy to develop contingency staffing plans, especially for a large business, and sadly, many companies currently fail to do so. Research from Iowa State University indicates that nearly half of all businesses have deficiency in this area - human resources expert Samantha Jo Perry surveyed employers and found that only 53 percent are prepared for "job protection and staffing after a disaster."

For the other 47 percent, there's a lot of work still to be done. Are you prepared?

The Bottom Line: Business Continuity Planning that also takes into account contingency staffing is key to cutting your losses and staying profitable despite any disaster that may come your way.

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