Is your charity doing enough to protect itself against disasters?

Wendy Cotton of charity insurance specialist Markel explains the importance of a disaster recovery plan, to keep your organisation in operation should the worst happen.

Organisations can take measures to avoid potential crises
Organisations can take measures to avoid potential crises

An unforeseen event such as a flood can come as a painful surprise to your organisation. Although we are powerless to hold nature back, plenty can be done to reduce its impact. By taking advance action, you can save some of the time and stress that comes with such an event, and protect valuable equipment and lost stock. Although it can be daunting, planning for disasters is essential for any organisation however large or small.

Our infographic on developing a disaster recovery plan illustrates five useful tips for developing a disaster recovery plan as well as the insurance covers that should be considered.

View our infographic : How to develop a disaster recovery plan

Without an effective disaster recovery plan in place, a short-term problem can rapidly evolve into a long-term financial disaster for your organisation.

We saw one recent example when a charity without a disaster recovery plan suffered severe setback when affected by flooding.

The premises of a charity were in an area badly flooded and sealed off by emergency services. Staff arrived in the morning and did not know what to do. Fortunately one of the staff had the home telephone number of one of the directors. The director arrived but all records of service users, staff rotas, staff information and suppliers were kept in the office in the flooded building with no back up records being kept off site.

While risk assessments for service users had been done as a matter of course, no risk assessment about failure to access the premises had taken place. There was also no disaster recovery plan. We assisted, along with specialist loss adjusters, to get the charity back on track. This took a long time as the charity had to piece together essential information from memory and discussions with others.

There were real loss of credibility issues by both staff and service users about how the charity managed its affairs. Insurance paid for the material damage but in terms of service delivery the charity had to start from scratch to rebuild their reputation and their funds.

Our recent article Flooding – a bigger risk than ever explains how you can protect your charity against damage by flooding.

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