Preparing Your Business for Natural Disasters

Harvey, Irma, Sandy:  the names have become all too familiar.  Disaster happens, and will continue to happen.  But there are steps you can take to protect your business ahead of any storm, and tools that will help you recover if disaster does strike.  

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Preparing your Business for Natural Disasters

Oct 23, 2017

Preparing Your Business for Natural Disasters

Harvey, Irma, Sandy:  the names have become all too familiar.  Disaster happens, and will continue to happen.  But there are steps you can take to protect your business ahead of any storm, and tools that will help you recover if disaster does strike.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “The survival of your company is a key factor in the economic revival of your community in the aftermath of a disaster.”  To ensure safety in the midst of the storm, and shorter recovery in the long term, the SBA recommends that you:

  • Gather all important paper—deeds/leases, title documents, insurance policies, financial records, inventory documents, personal documentation such as birth certificates and passports —and put them in a three-ring binder with pockets.  Put that in a waterproof bag, and take it with you if you evacuate.  You’re going to need these documents during the recovery phase.
  • Backup your computer data in the cloud or on a flash drive.
  • Make sure you have a plan in place to communicate with your employees and clients, to make sure that everyone is safe, and to let everyone know when you’ll be open again for business.
  • Follow guidance on evacuation. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the routes to take, and have a plan on where to stay.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit including a flashlight with extra batteries, non-perishable foods, one gallon of water per person, per day, a first-aid kit, medications, and extra cash. A complete list is available www.ready.gov.

 In case of emergency, click here

 The FEMA MOBILE APP  allows you to get the latest weather updates, shelter information, disaster resources and preparedness tips in English and Spanish. 

 If a disaster declaration is made, the SBA offers a variety of resources to support economic recovery, including low-interest disaster loans available to businesses of all sizes.  The organization also promotes local contracting opportunities for small businesses able to provide fast service and needed products to those affected by a disaster. If you want do business with FEMA and your business is located in a disaster area, you could be eligible for the industry liaison program.  FEMA also has a list of local contracting opportunities on its website

What does any of this have to do with payments?

As part of the TSYS family, you can feel confident that your ability to accept and make payments is always assured. Start right now and get prepared in the event of a disaster. Whether it’s keeping P2P encrypted card readers on hand or holding drills during slow times to test systems and readiness, being ready to take on Mother Nature is half the battle. 

Make sure you have "backups," from a backup battery for your computers to backup Internet access via phone, wireless, or cable.  The more ways you can connect, the better your odds of remaining connected during power events.

If you do lose power, and your POS system can’t be turned on, you can still accept card payment if you are prepared in advance.  Some things you can do: 

  • If you have a mobile card reader, you can swipe a customer’s payment on your mobile device.
  • Make sure you can always accept payments via your website so that customers in unaffected areas can still pay for purchases online.
  • Have a contact standing by in an unaffected area, and ask them to key enter your transactions into a virtual terminal. Have duplicate receipts ready for signature, and enter authorization codes instead of imprinting card numbers. Or, have them send you an e-Invoice that your customer can click and pay.

If disaster does find you unprepared, and your payment processing is impacted by a storm or other weather emergency, contact TSYS for help. We may be able to quickly replace damaged or missing processing equipment and help you get up and running again quickly.

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