Prepare Your Business and Communication Plans for Severe Weather Season

ACA International and Alliance ACA members provide resources to start your preparedness plan.

7/15/2021 9:30 A.M.

Whether your business operates in an area prone to major storms or you generally see clear skies, it is always a good idea to have a plan in place in case disaster strikes.

Disaster preparedness is twofold in the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry. Members must have plans in place to protect their employees and ensure their company can continue to operate despite severe weather. Plus, you’ll need a plan to modify communications with consumers who may be affected by a storm and cannot make a payment or be reached by telephone or mail, temporarily.

Hurricane Elsa touched down on Florida’s west coast on July 6, causing major downpours, flooding and high winds. With many of our member companies positioned on the southern coast, the hurricane highlights the urgency to have a solid disaster preparedness plan in place.

The Small Business Administration has provided an online resource guide for maintaining a safe and secure plan in the case of emergencies like hurricanes, earthquakes or even cybersecurity breaches.

“Debt collectors should work with their clients to determine how to service consumers faced with natural disasters,” Czerlanis said. “Remember that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors cannot call consumers at times known to be inconvenient.”

We also spoke with Mark Norton, sales enablement manager from Alliance ACA member Agility Recovery, about his tips for disaster preparedness—especially in an evolving work environment.

“The complexity of how, when, and where people are working today certainly adds to the challenge of a recovery strategy or strategies. The workforce has become increasingly more complex, which was only accelerated by the pandemic,” Norton said. “Business continuity software is a crucial tool for solving such complexity without overwhelming the current staff and budget. There are simple and easy-to-use tools available to help one put together a plan for the first time or execute a strategy following an interruption.”

Norton noted that companies with work-from-home and hybrid workplace models must consider additional factors.

“It’s important to remember that each employee requires space, technology, connectivity and power to work successfully, and sometimes those requirements can’t be filled by employees themselves,” he said. “Oftentimes, employees look to employers for aid in obtaining these resources following a large-scale disaster. Statistics overwhelmingly show that when a business closes due to an interruption, there is a significant risk of never reopening or regaining market share due to the delay in reopening.”

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