Look around. People are still drinking coffee or laughing around the water cooler. Cars still drift along city streets and bitter winter winds still blow through the streets. It’s the twelfth, of the twelfth, twenty-twelve and everything’s fine. It appears the Mayans were wrong, or they were talking about another date or they weren’t talking about the end of the world at all.

Since the world hasn’t ended, now is as good a time as any to see how prepared you are for disaster. The end of the world might be too much for your business to survive, but you do need to have a disaster risk management plan.

Mitigate

Disaster risk management is no different from other risk management processes; it starts with mitigating the risk. In this case that means putting measures in place to reduce the potential impact of a disaster. It means storing vital assets in the most secure location, providing adequate safety equipment and evacuation training.

Prevent

There are some risks associated with disasters that you can prevent entirely. By using an online data backup system or by storing a physical backup off site, you can prevent the risk of data loss. You should also have productivity backups, either a temporary safe location, or mobile devices that can takeover during the recovery process.

Transfer

You will also be able to transfer some of the risk to an insurance provider. No matter how effective your disaster risk management processes are, recovery is an expensive process. Business interruption insurance can help you to get back on your feet. A quarter of small businesses would be unable to recover from disaster; business interruption insurance ensures you aren’t one of them.

It appears the Mayans were wrong. The world will continue to turn into 2013. But that doesn’t mean your business can afford to ignore disaster risk management. You should always be prepared for the worst. After all, the Mayans might have meant December 21st 2012.

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