Business sense | If you’re looking for a sign, this is it – Times-Standard

  Business sense |  If you're looking for a sign, this is it - Times-Standard

With our area’s high probability of being impacted by earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, wildfires, etc. and the constant reminder of checklists of items that we should have in our home, our car, and our place of business — of course, we in Humboldt County, have all taken the necessary steps in being prepared, right? —not likely. Little planning effort is usually directed towards recovery. Being resilient to a disaster means being able to quickly recover from it. Is your business prepared after a sudden disaster strikes? If you showed up to work and found that your building was “red-tagged,” that you couldn’t enter the building, would you be prepared to work offsite?

Thursday, Oct. 21 at 10:21 a.m. is Humboldt County’s Shake Out. I encourage you to use the next two weeks to get prepared for a disaster. Use this event as the sign, the deadline you have been waiting for. Not being prepared before a disaster strikes can be, well, disastrous. This doesn’t just apply to our families and our communities but our businesses as well. A community’s recovery from a disaster is dependent upon its businesses functioning fully as soon as possible afterwards. We experienced this with the 2019 public safety power shutoff and the pandemic. Some of us may have been affected by ransomware or identity theft. Road closures and evacuations have also affected businesses. However, most of us haven’t experienced a recent “big event” where we need to rebuild to recover.


  • Those of us in business in Humboldt County need to think about our business recovery plan — offsite storage and access to important documents to keep going; setting up a temporary place of business elsewhere and retaining employees so they don’t leave to look for work elsewhere. These and other decisions should be pre-planned now, before a disaster strikes. Taking today to prepare can prevent weeks of business closure after the next disaster occurs.

  • A business that is prepared will continue to have backup access to file folders, contacts, accounts receivable and accounts payable; they could be open for business as usual (or almost). Thinking a step further though, that business would be prepared to be separated from their place of business for a week or more, collect income; pay bills; and complete contracts. It may not be a wide-impacting disaster. It might only be a fire on the property next door or wind and water damage, rendering the building unsafe until repairs are made.

Bob Brown, AICP is the Planning Principal at SHN Engineers and Geologists, Inc.