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The Worst That Could Happen

It's time to face your worst business nightmares. Don't cover your ears and cringe until you hear how you can prepare yourself.

Oklahoma City. Columbine. September 11. Every once in a while, we are reminded life is unpredictable. And if you're responsible for employees and customers, you've come to the conclusion that it's never a bad idea to imagine the unimaginable.

Two authors did just that in what was considered a humor book before September 11. Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht's Worst Case Scenario Handbook advises readers on everything from delivering a baby in a cab to dodging bullets. One day, Piven and Borgenicht might get around to writing such a handbook for entrepreneurs. As unlikely as it is that your business will be in the line of terrorist fire, your company might be in the path of a tornado. No matter how remote or ridiculous the odds seem to you, it's time to start thinking about a contingency plan. Here are a few situations to consider.

Pick Your Disaster

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Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.

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This article was originally published in the July 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Worst That Could Happen.

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