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Make Disaster Planning a Priority

Think your business has had a bad day? Think twice before you complain to anyone, especially the employees of a Wells Fargo bank branch in La Mesa, Calif., just outside San Diego. That particular branch was robbed Sept. 30. Three hours later, it was robbed again--by a different bandit--according to The Associated Press.

As an admittedly small consolation, both men who robbed the bank already had established criminal monikers: The Hard Hat Bandit and The Chatty Bandit. Who knew word-of-mouth referrals worked so quickly among the criminal element?

There is no word on whether another bailout package is in the works.

Seriously, did the second robber cross paths with the last cops to leave the scene on his way in? Did a member of law enforcement by chance unknowingly hold the door open for The Hard Hat Bandit? Was Barney Fife guarding the place, lone bullet comfortably tucked away in his shirt pocket?

Fortunately, nobody was hurt in either robbery. Banks are prepared for worst-case scenarios like this. Employees are trained how to react. In best-case worst-case scenarios--even bank robberies--customers don't know what is happening.

Is your business prepared for the worst-case scenarios that can disrupt its daily operation? Do your employees know how to react in the face of adversity--be it a criminal brandishing a gun, an attack by an unseen hacker, a breakdown in the distribution chain, an unhappy customer or an overflowing toilet?

Disaster planning shouldn't begin with a disaster.

Mike Werling, the managing editor of Sea Magazine, has written for Entrepreneur.com, Senior Market Advisor, Boomer Market Advisor and Broadmoor magazines.

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