Hit By A Bus!” Disasters abound: natural, civil and business.

If the weather shuts you down, you can’t work and neither can any of your clients and partners. Weather is pretty democratic that way.

Civil disasters are choosier, they don’t necessarily affect everyone the same way, but can make doing business significantly difficult. If the computers are down, if the network is down, no one can do much, but these are mostly short term.

Business disasters are much tougher to deal with, it may only affect those in a smaller circle but the impact can be as great. These will really wreck your day, throw the schedule out of whack and can have some serious impacts on the organization. Since these events can’t be planned, what can you do?

Your ‘Hit By A Bus’ File

Be prepared, pick a Friday afternoon or a long lunch and get some stuff organized and ready. Ideally some of the preparation is work that is to have already been done, such as job descriptions, company policies, account lists, etc. It has been my experience, however, that when the fire breaks out, the first question is often, where is the fire extinguisher?

Having the following items in one place may prove helpful

  • Automatic online backup for all computers, who has the password?
  • List of all bank accounts, numbers, addresses, contacts for the bank.
  • Staff list, names, addresses, emails, phone numbers.
  • List of all board members, addresses, phone numbers, emails.
  • Corporate information, IRS documents, insurance information and contacts.
  • Attorney, accountant, insurance agent contact information.
  • Mission statement, vision statement, statement of purpose for your organization.
  • Passwords can be stored in locked files, or off site, separate from access and account information. But let senior staff know where the file is located.

You Will Be Glad You Did

For sure some of this stuff can be tedious, but you will discover that it not only goes pretty quickly. However, if not, you will be happy you found out what is missing! If the time should ever come that you, who walk around with all of this in your head, needs to have some backup, all of this will be complete.

Having this information readily available, and have staff know where it is will not only keep you current but if there is a problem, identifying who, what and where will not be part of it.

If you’d like help putting the kit together, get in touch by email here or by voice on 310 828 6979.

Read Part One Here

Cindy Lauren - Lauren Associates - non profit consultingCindy Lauren is the Principal of Lauren Associates – non profit consulting

As well as advising Executives and Boards on all aspects of nonprofit management, the firm specializes in developing fundraising solutions for all sizes of organizations. Connect with Cindy: Twitter, Linkedin, Quora

Image Credit:Bus Stop by kDamo on Flickr.
Written while listening to: Sanity | July 2013 – Music to Create Flow .