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Prepare: Disaster and Emergency Preparedness

Whether it is a major disaster like a hurricane or a more minor emergency such as a burst pipe or crashed computer, every law firm should create a plan and take steps to prepare for accidents or disasters that can seriously interrupt the firm's business. The South Carolina Bar has created Prepare, a disaster preparedness handbook, filled with checklists to guide you in ensuring that your practice is ready to withstand a disaster. Request a free copy of Prepare, the South Carolina Bar's disaster preparedness handbook.

Preparing for a Hurricane - South Carolina Resources:

June 1 is the official beginning of hurricane season in the Atlantic.

Prepare for a Disaster South Carolina Emergency Management Division's web site with comprehensive information on natural and manmade disasters. Print a copy of the 2013 South Carolina Hurricane Guide.

Stay Connected For emergency alerts and preparedness tips sent out by SCEMD, connect with SCEMD through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

Make a Plan Use SC DHEC's Hurricane Preparedness Guide to create your plan of action in the event of a hurricane. SC DHEC's Hurricane Preparedness Website contains lots of helpful planning information including info on evacuation and seeking shelter.

Ready Lowcountry Charleston County's website is full of free resources and  information to help you prepare for local hurricanes and other disasters.

SC Dept. of Transporation Provides detailed written evacuation driving directions and printable evacuation maps.

WIS TV First Alert Hurricane Tracking Center

Preparing for a Disaster - Federal Resources:

Visit Ready.gov for disaster planning and preparation information from the Department of Homeland Security.

Ready.gov/business has resources for protecting your business in the event of a disaster at. This site includes a guide for creating a Business Continuity Plan.

Ready Rating Program A free program by the American Red Cross that provides a framework to help businesses and organizations become prepared for emergencies.

DisasterAssistance.gov Access to resources and information to help with recovery after an emergency.

National Hurricane Center

Although it may seem like the odds of your firm facing a natural disaster are not very high, a disaster can strike at any time - and disasters do not always take the form of a hurricane or tornado. Your firm may have to deal with a computer network "crash," fire, computer theft, power failure, or the unexpected loss of a firm partner or key staff person. Use the articles and resources below to create a plan that will help minimize the impact of unexpected disasters on your practice.

More Online Resources:

Disaster Planning and Recovery - A risk management handout from Lawyers Mutual.

Disaster Planning: What We Have (and Haven't) Learned by Gary A. Munneke

Disaster Recovery Kit Checklist from Agility Recovery Solutions

Disaster Planning: Protecting Your Firm, Your Clients and Your Family By Patricia Yevics, Director, Law Office Management, Maryland State Bar

Disaster Recovery: Steps to take in Recovery Effort By Suzanne Rose, Management Consultant, Tennessee Bar Association

Firm Vulnerability Evaluation Chart Use this Chart from Practice Pro to identify your firm's greatest vulnerabilities so that you can work toward minimizing them.

Got Disaster? Your On-Hand Technology Can See You Through By Dennis Kennedy, ABA Journal, February 2012

Guide to Developing and Conducting Business Continuity Exercises
The ABA Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness

Managing Practice Interruptions
By Dan Pinnington, Director, practicePRO Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO)

Plan to Expect the Unexpected
By Richard Schenkar, GPSolo eReport, November 2012

PrepareMyBusiness.org - Planning resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration

Preparing for a Disaster: Data Backup and Beyond
By Joshua Poje, Law Practice Today, April 2013

Protect Your Practice Toolkit - Use this toolkit to protect your practice and your image from an online attack by counteracting negative info that may be spread about your firm on the web. Brought to you by the State Bar of North Dakota.

Surviving a Disaster: A Lawyer's Guide to Disaster Planning
The ABA Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness

Thriving After Disaster: Tips from Katrina Survivors
Your ABA, June 2012

What Katrina Can Teach Lawyers About Disaster Preparedness
By Debra Cassesns Weiss, ABA Journal, February 2012

When Bad Things Happen: 60 Minutes to Save Your Practice
Compiled from materials developed by the ABA's Practice Management Advisors Committee

Worksheets from the Prepare handbook to download and use in your law office:

Care for Your Files

It is a high-tech world, but don't neglect your paper files.

Caring for Yourself in an Emergency

Tips on Creating an Office Inventory

Prepare your firm with our simple, one page Disaster Susceptibility Worksheet.  Print out several worksheets and complete one for each type of emergency your firm may face.

Backups: Steps All Law Firms Can Follow

Tips on Creating an Evacuation Procedure