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Disaster Preparedness for Process Servers

  • November 19, 2018
  • by ServeNow Staff
  • Articles

Guide to Natural Disasters for Process Servers

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and blizzards are just some of the natural disasters that plague people across the world. These disasters also take their toll on business and can alter activity, operations, and ultimately profits. Since natural disasters are inevitable and more regular with changes to our climate, it is in the best interest of businesses to take actionable steps to protect their company immediately. Here we outline some issues and proposed solutions to issues that stem from natural disasters.

The Issues

In the United States, hurricanes have ravaged the east and south coastal states. Hurricanes like Katrina, Florence, Matthews, and Harvey have altered the landscape of cities and rural areas alike, shutting down most businesses while attempting to recover and restore normal activity. Fires often impact the west coast, destroying communities and creating health hazards. Process servers are not immune to these negative effects; natural disasters often result in an inability to serve process.

Many natural disasters destroy access across cities and towns by making roads impassable. Flooding or debris are just some of the elements that create problems to navigate. For process servers, impassable roads create obstacles to perform services, even with deadlines looming.

Additionally, these natural occurrences slow the entire region’s business operation as a vast majority of companies are not open. Law firms and courts can shut down and delay cases and deadlines to accommodate the storm’s effects. When the legal system is down, there is a negative effect on process server’s income, making repairs from these disasters seem even more daunting. A natural disaster has the ability to render businesses temporarily or even permanently closed.

Even if the courts remain open and deadlines applicable, there is the problem of reduced or no power, telephone, and internet lines. Many process servers depend on software that exists only on certain computers in offices that may now be inaccessible. With essential power lines down, being dependent on non-cloud based software can take a toll on business operations.

Natural Disaster Preparation Checklist

Personal Preparation

  • Generator
  • Food & Water for several weeks
  • Satellite Phones
  • Emergency Resources Telephone Numbers
  • Evacuation Plan

Business Preparation

  • Cloud-based Technology
  • Reliable Software
  • Data Backups
  • Portable Digital Devices

Potential Solutions

Preparation

As with most potential disruptions, preparedness is the most effective mitigating step. Businesses should be aware of any disasters that may affect their service area. Assess potential threats and consequences to establish a plan for how to keep your business operational if disaster strikes. Since each type of natural disaster has their own after-effects (flooding and fires affected areas in their own drastic ways), have a plan for different scenarios.

Storms have the potential to damage business equipment like printers and scanners. If this happens to you, be sure to research companies that provide printing and delivery services. While their own local businesses may be affected by the storm, they often have nationwide branches that can handle requests outside the affected areas. See if nationwide delivery and printing services have disaster plans or internal communications that can help you during strife.

Accessible Information

In addition to pre-storm preparation and research, you should look at updating the way your business operates. If you are hardwired into a desktop computer that can’t travel, consider working off a laptop that is mobile. Instead of worrying about getting to your office, you can make your home (if it safe) your temporary office headquarters.

Make sure that your essential information is properly backed up. Whether that means portable external hard drives or cloud-based technology, make sure your information is not reliant on one single machine. It is important to note that if your business records are only stored locally on a couple of computers, you are risking your entire business if those computers are destroyed. This suggestion won’t just help you prepare for natural disasters, but also for best business practices in general.

Another solution is using software that provides these features for you. ServeManager does regular backups to ensure that your business history is not wiped out by one storm. Cloud-based software solutions like ServeManager store data remotely with multiple backups in servers across the country so your essential information will always be available. You are not tied to any one computer with our cloud-based technology.

When power is down, a generator can be your business’ saving grace. Even if you gather your work remotely, you should always have power for your electronic devices.

Michael Reid, a process server in California near recent wildfires, uses cloud-based technology and ServeManager so they can pick up and leave the office without taking any hardware. Since they use cloud-based technology, they can access their information with their login information from any computer or device in a safe area.

The piece of mind that ServerManager is able to bring to my business cannot be compared to features and benefits. - Michael Reid

Your Personal Safety

While it is ideal to keep your business operational and secure, you and your family’s safety is the top priority. Businesses can be rebuilt but human life should be protected first and foremost. The best way you can save your life and others is to be wary of the threat, plan accordingly, and take action.

If you have the time and capability to evacuate, do so. Follow your state’s orders and take the necessary precautions. If you cannot evacuate for whatever reason, take steps to secure your home and have survival resources for several weeks. Be aware that emergency resources and help are often spread thin during the worst of the storm, so prepare for the worst possible scenario.

Planning for your family’s and business’s well being ahead of time can help save both aspects of your life. ServeNow and ServeManager want you to be safe, so please prepare accordingly and listen to authority’s directives.

Have you been affected?

Have you been affected by any natural disasters lately? The team at ServeManager is happy to discuss your needs and offer our software for FREE to you for a determined period of time. Contact ServeManager to learn more and get your business back up and running.

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