Byte of Prevention Blog

by Patrick Brown |

What can we do in the face of Mother Nature to protect ourselves and our clients?

hurricaneThe immediate impact of Hurricane Harvey is subsiding, and while there will continue to be damage from ongoing flood correction measures, the focus now turns to clean up and recovery.

Here in North Carolina it has not been a year since Hurricane Matthew caused flooding and devastation in our state. 

And now we have Irma churning in the Atlantic – a powerful storm projected to cause catastrophic damage to island nations and with a path and impact on the US that is anything but certain. 

What can we do in the face of Mother Nature to protect ourselves and our clients?

Hopefully you have a plan and procedure in place (and have urged clients over the years to do the same).

If not, then even if Irma does not come towards NC, now is a great time to think about a plan and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, or voice to Dragon…)!

It is too late in the aftermath of an event to begin making plans – it would be nice to go back in time and adequately prepare (or buy that winning Powerball ticket!), but alas that ability is not yet available for better or worse.

In order, you priorities should be:

1- Keep the people safe – get out of the path if you can, do not go out into the storm, avoid damaged areas and down power lines afterwards.

2- Have adequate supplies – do not panic! Ensure your vehicles (and generator) are gassed and working, have non-perishable foods on hand, and plenty of water available.  Now is a good time to check those flashlights, ensure you have plenty of batteries, and have fuel for your grill.

3- Safeguard entrusted property – move original documents to a higher level, consider storing in a waterproof container inside a safe.

4- Secure and test backups of all data – cloud storage is a great way to maintain continuity, but at a minimum keep a backup in a safe location separate from your office. Unplug electronics to prevent damage from power surges and water intrusion.

5- Have a plan for recovery – knowing what you will do in advance makes the recovery process easier and reduces the risk something might be overlooked.

Take a few minutes and read:

http://www.lawyersmutualnc.com/blog/6-tools-for-law-office-disaster-preparedness

http://www.lawyersmutualnc.com/risk-management-resources/articles/disaster-preparedness-is-your-toolkit-complete

http://www.lawyersmutualnc.com/risk-management-resources/articles-2/can-your-firm-survive-a-disaster

Then use our Disaster Planning and Recovery Toolkit (http://files.lm2014.gethifi.com/risk-management-resources/risk-management-handouts/Disaster_Planning.pdf) to develop a plan of your own.

A little time and energy now can save a lot of time and loss in the future!

About the Author

Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown joined Lawyers Mutual in 2011 as its Relationship Manager after several years in private practice in Raleigh, NC. Contact Patrick for information regarding professional liability insurance, your insurance policy, or risk management advice and resources at 800.662.8843 or patrick@lawyersmutualnc.com.

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