More and more people are working from home these days - freelancers, telecommuters and small business owners all tend to do a lot of work from the home office. When disaster strikes, the home and business can be absolutely devastated. If you're working from home, here are 5 things you need to do now to protect your business - leaving you free to focus on your family's needs in times of emergency.
1. Review Insurance Coverage
It's important to make sure you have the right coverage, since your needs are somewhat unique. For example, you might consider purchasing business property coverage.
2. Make a Hard Backup of Your Files
Using a ghost computer hard drive program to back up your files is one of the safest and most thorough ways there is to protect your data. One example of a program you can use is Casper Secure. This software actually makes a complete, encrypted hard copy of everything on your hard drive. Be sure to back up your files regularly and store the hard copy somewhere safe - you might even consider storing it off-site, such as in a safety deposit box.
3. Store Your Valuables in a Safe
Having a high-quality, fire-proof, impact-resistant safe in your home makes it simple to protect other items, as well. You can use them to store all kinds of valuables, client files, insurance documents, and contracts.
4. Get Remote Storage for Your Files
Remotely storing your computer files is another way to back up your data. The best part is you can put software on your computer that automatically performs regular backups so you don't even have to think about it. Carbonite.com, for example, is one of the remote backup programs you can use. These programs work by storing your computer files on a remote server, meaning that in the event that your own computer is damaged or destroyed, you can still access the files online from anywhere with an internet connection.
5. Save Your Passwords
RoboForm is another tool you can use that stores some of your info remotely, or “in the cloud.” While many people already use RoboForm daily to streamline the process of filling out online forms and storing login info, not many know about the Secure Password Manager that RoboForm offers. This feature allows you to log into the RoboForm system from another computer and access your login info. So, if your own computer is destroyed, you're not going to lose your passwords for all the sites you're a member of.
When you have protection for your home based business in place, you're able to better focus on keeping your loved ones safe in emergency situations. Don't forget to “disaster-proof your family” as well! Steve Cain, president of the Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, urges families to take emergency planning into their own hands rather than relying solely on organized response systems and government involvement in time of disaster. When people take responsibility for their own welfare, those systems are better able to help those who absolutely cannot help themselves - the elderly and disabled, for example. "Plans save lives and money and reduce stress and grief," Cain says. Practice and discuss evacuation plans and other emergency situations regularly so that everyone is clear on what to do when the time comes. Also, keep a “go bag” stocked with emergency supplies. It's a good idea to keep a roadside emergency car kit
in your vehicle as well and always be sure that your vehicle has half a tank of gas. The fewer things that you have to worry about in an emergency situation, the better shape you'll be in.
About the Author
Kylie Worthington is passionate about sustainable, natural living, fitness and the outdoors. She is a freelance writer from the Midwest who specializes in all things green and healthy. She and her family are always “disaster-ready” and have an emergency survival kit
ready to go in the vehicle and at home.