benchmarking

When Being Open Is the Benchmark…

Hurricane_Waffle

…Then you can count on having waffles.  In a great case study of sorts from the Wall Street Journal A-Hed column, writer Valerie Bauerlein extols the virtues of the Waffle House, a humble fast food diner that has carved out a niche by being ahead of the game for quickly reopening after major natural disasters.  Where other restaurants may take weeks to reopen, Waffle House is differentiating itself on a model in which nothing save for total facility destruction will prevent it from being the first restaurant back in business in a devastated community. The planning and effort that goes into reopening so fast has earned the Atlanta-based Waffle House chain its own index from FEMA (yes, the FEMA), much loyalty from its occasionally desperate customers, and money for its pocket books so it can keep doing what it does best.  Take a few minutes to read Bauerlein’s story, and if afterward you find yourself re-thinking your own disaster preparedness plan, then below are some resources with free materials to make sure your business is in ship-shape for weathering storms.

1.  Though their design looks a bit like an old dental office website, Stargazer.org has among other things, a free organization safety kit of downloadable PDF forms that you fill out and save “to organize critical information needed in an emergency”.

2.  The Sunshine State has fielded its fare share of hurricanes, so it comes as little surprise that provides a rich Business Disaster Survival Kit with scads of info, including an interactive Disaster Planning Wizard.

3.  It's good for Uncle Sam when business bounce back after disasters, so the Ready.gov website has a page where you can download all of their preparedness publications, including useful things like a list of costs and a sample plan.