1. Have at least two alternatives for paying employees during an emergency when normal operating data might be inaccessible, says Martin Gomberg, CIO of A&E Television Networks. Options include rerunning a prior payroll cycle at a backup site or offering a fixed amount of money to everyone and making up the difference later, he says.
3. Prepare to use internal websites to keep in touch with employees if cell service is out, says Lon Anderson, vice president of corporate IT at ICF International, a technology services firm. Anderson was a senior IT leader at Hibernia National Bank in Louisiana, which used a Web application that became a hub for employees and customers after Hurricane Katrina hit. Ask news sites to publish the Web addresses to get the word out.
4. Certify as many staff members as possible in emergency-response training, including how to respond to shock, perform CPR and treat exhaustion, Christian advises. Have a second disaster-management team ready to relieve the first responders soon into the emergency, to alleviate physical and emotional fatigue, she adds.