Could you leave your business with 5 minutes notice?
Sadly, with the bush fire emergency gripping parts of Queensland today, it has me wondering if my clients would be ready to leave their business, with 5 minutes notice, and be able to get back up and running if the worst were to happen.
I have lived for most of my life in rural areas, where the nearest neighbour was further away than across the street, or down the road, so I have had an appreciation for being prepared and not expecting immediate assistance in the case of an emergency. I have an easily accessible container of "stuff" that everyone in my family knows where it is and that this should be saved if possible. I also have multiple backups of my entire computer system, documents and files stored in the cloud, physical copies stored offsite and a setup I can simply upload onto any device and be functioning again within a few hours. I am not sure most of my clients could say the same.
It is not an expensive matter either. iCloud storage can be as little as $1.49/month. A $20 usb drive from any supermarket, post office, stationer or even $2 shop can be a lifesaver. A portable hard-drive with some automatic backup software, say Acronis true image, will cost less than $300. What does cost a little more, is your time to put this together in the first place.
Scan or upload images of important documents, insurance policies, contracts and bank details.
Secure your passwords and licences for software and include somewhere safe.
Have a file with identity documents (birth certificates, passports), legal documents (wills, powers of attorney, marriage certificates, family court matters), ownership documents for assets, both owned outright and under finance and details of all insurance policies.
If you don't have digital copies of photographs already, then scan or re-photograph originals with a digital camera or phone (a dodgy copy is better than nothing at all, right?)
Remember to include chargers for phones, tablets, computers etc.
Hopefully, you will never need any of the above items, but if by terrible circumstance you do, then you will be somewhat comforted by the fact you took the time to invest a little money and time into being prepared.