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Experts predict an increase in hurricanes and tornadoes this year.

Disasters Just Happen, Recovery Plans Don’t

Five things car dealerships can do to prepare for tornadoes, hurricanes and other forces of nature.

Killer storm winds cut across the South on Easter Sunday. On March 3, a series of deadly and destructive tornadoes touched down in the Nashville area.

Whether it’s storms, fire or flood, prepare for the unexpected. Have a disaster recovery or business-continuity plan in place.

Many car dealers don’t. It is easy to understand. Who likes to think about a worst-case scenario?

Here are seven things to consider when planning for the unthinkable:

Talk to the professionals. Creating a disaster recovery plan can be complicated, especially for dealerships.

A good place to start is by contacting a consulting service specializing in business continuity. They’ll help create a plan that you can train your employees to follow as well as test.

Protect employees. The most valuable step is to protect the health and safety of people. Make sure you have emergency contact information for all employees. If disaster strikes, you’ll want to account for everyone. And make sure your employees are well-trained to follow your disaster recovery plan.

Protect customers. Depending on your situation, you may want to consider an employee and customer relief fund to help with clean up and restoration efforts. A little empathy during this time can go a long way and show that you are truly invested in each person affected in your community.

Protect data. Your store runs on data systems, from DMS to CRM. Check with service providers to make sure they’re backing up your data daily and keeping it stored off-site or in the cloud. It doesn’t do you any good to back up your data to a server located on your premises. And don’t forget about documents stored on PCs.

Mike_Tanguay_0668-LinkedIn.pngProtect inventory. There’s a good chance in a natural disaster than your vehicle inventory will be at risk. If it’s a fire or an approaching hurricane, move your inventory, if you can, to a safer location. Keep up-to-date video records of your dealership and the property you own. (Wards Industry Voices contributor Mike Tanguay, left)

For more information on how to create and implement a disaster plan, contact KPA.

Mike Tanguay is an environmental health and safety district manager at KPA, a human resources consulting firm. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

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