Sunday Evening Storms

Sunday evening, just as I was drifting off to sleep after an active, productive weekend, the tornado sirens began to blare – a funnel cloud was spotted on the ground one county over, and it was headed our way. Let me tell you, nothing gets the local weather forecasters in a lather quite like a funnel cloud, especially one late at night.

I’ve lived the path of the tornado-laden south long enough to have a solid evacuation plan not only for my family, but also for our neighbors across the street who don’t have basements in which to seek shelter. Seriously, I can have my entire family, dog included, safely in the basement in 90 seconds or less. My kids may have to seek counseling for post-traumatic stress syndrome after being snatched from their beds while still asleep and dumped into the basement bed with quick reassurances from mom and dad while listening to the blaring sirens, but hey, at least they’re safe.

It brings to mind the need for every business, large and small, to have a crisis plan in place. When I worked for a huge Fortune 500 conglomerate, we had written crisis communications plans in place for everything from who was the best media spokesperson for certain catastrophic events to what to do if there was an earthquake.

If you have a small business, you don’t need anything quite so large in scope. For example, my crisis plan is to back up my computer regularly and to keep important numbers on my cell (like those for a computer technician and a couple of writers if I need help hacking away at my workload.)

Take a minute today and think through what you’ll do if the worst happens. Then relax, because it probably won’t, but you’ll be relieved you’ve thought through things just in case. Jot down your plan and communicate it to your team. Even if your team is just your babysitter and your dog.

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