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Make Disaster Planning a Priority

By Mike Werling

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

As an admittedly small consolation, both men who robbed the bankalready had established criminal monikers: The Hard Hat Bandit and TheChatty Bandit. Who knew word-of-mouth referrals worked so quickly amongthe 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 toleave the scene on his way in? Did a member of law enforcement bychance unknowingly hold the door open for The Hard Hat Bandit? WasBarney Fife guarding the place, lone bullet comfortably tucked away inhis shirt pocket?

Fortunately, nobody was hurt in either robbery. Banks are preparedfor worst-case scenarios like this. Employees are trained how to react.In best-case worst-case scenarios--even bank robberies--customers don'tknow what is happening.

Is your business prepared for the worst-case scenarios that candisrupt its daily operation? Do your employees know how to react in theface of adversity--be it a criminal brandishing a gun, an attack by anunseen hacker, a breakdown in the distribution chain, an unhappycustomer 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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