Earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires—recent headlines are a grim reminder of the importance of business continuity planning for speedy disaster recovery. This is especially the case for banks, credit unions, and local non-bank financial service providers (like check cashers). When it comes to natural disaster recovery, banks have extra pressure to move quickly.
In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane or earthquake, families struggle to secure shelter, drinkable water, food, and fuel. Communities pull together to keep each other safe. But complete recovery is slow. For example, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón told Congress:
“The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years. I can’t deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere.”
In the weeks and months that follow a disaster, small businesses need loans and families need to dip into their savings to make ends meet. People suffer without access to their funds and other financial services.
Working with Financial Service Providers and Contractors to Speed Disaster Recovery
“We did a lot of disaster recovery in Houston a few years back, after that round of floods,” Total Security Solutions CEO Jim Richards recalls. “What struck me was the scheduling challenges those banks and financial service providers faced. There just weren’t enough insurance adjusters, restoration companies, and construction crews to go around.”
TSS has always excelled at playing well with others. They’re able to coordinate with trades and contractors in any state, and meet almost any schedule. They can send out a TSS representative to take initial measurements and oversee the final installation, or coordinated with your preferred contractors in the field.
“It’s really easy—and really frustrating—for the trades to get out of sync on a project and push everything off schedule. The last thing a business recovering from a disaster needs is one more complication. That’s why we make it a top priority to always stay on schedule and hit every deadline.”
Disaster Recovery as an Opportunity for Improvement
Bullet resistant materials tend to hold up well to a lot of punishment—they are, after all, used to armor buildings against extreme weather. But if adjusters declare your building’s interior a complete loss, it’s going to be gutted, barrier and all.
“On the one hand, this is a business nightmare,” Jim says. “But, for many, it may be a rare opportunity to re-assess what’s happening in your business and area, and adjust your barrier accordingly.”
Your original barrier was designed, engineered, fabricated, and installed based on a then-current snapshot of your procedures, clientele, and risk factors. More importantly, it was designed, engineered, and fabricated using the state-of-the-art technology and techniques of that moment. Both have changed over time.
“Every year, we’re pushing the envelope further,” Jim notes, “finding ways to work to tighter tolerances, meeting new aesthetic and design challenges. We can always find a way to design and install a barrier that looks like it was designed and built in from day one. These situations—where the schedule is constrained and the design or installation are tricky—these are where we really shine, in that highly custom arena.”
Cleaning Up After a Natural Disaster
Not every disaster is a total loss. Your bullet resistant barrier is a big investment. It may not be a affected by the burst pipe, big winds, or building fire that otherwise wreak havoc on your bank or credit union. But if you do bring in catastrophic cleaners or a restoration company, make sure to take them aside and discuss proper bullet resistant glass cleaning. If nothing else, take the time to impress one iron-clad rule:
NEVER USE WINDEX ON BULLET PROOF GLASS!!!
It would be awful luck to squeak through an extreme storm or fire nearly unscathed, and then have your bullet resistant system hazed up by a well meaning outside cleaner trying to do you a favor and wipe down some smudgy glass.