Initiative offers quick check on disaster prep

A new initiative offers small businesses assistance in preparing for disasters.

AT&T and the American Red Cross have launched the effort, called Safeguard Your Business.

“AT&T has a long-standing commitment to business continuity and disaster preparedness on behalf of our customers,” said Bill Soards, president of AT&T in Colorado.

“We’ve taken it to the next level for small businesses, which represent the fabric of the U.S. economy, by offering free resources to help them prepare for emergency situations.”

The initiative includes an online tool called Quick Check for Disaster Prep that enables small business owners and managers to assess their readiness for disasters or other emergencies by answering 10 questions. Based on the responses, the tool calculates a score and offers recommendations. The tool also integrates with the Red Cross Ready Rating program that helps  businesses prepare for emergencies.

In addition, AT&T will donate free data backup and technical support for a year — a $425 value — to 100 small businesses selected at random from those that complete the Quick Check for Disaster Prep by June 30. Backing up files, customer records and other data can be crucial part of emergency preparedness.

By one estimate, 25 percent of small businesses will experience a crisis event related natural disasters, power outages or computer breaches in a given year. About 40 percent of small businesses closed by disasters never reopen their doors. Still, about 66 percent of businesses don’t have emergency or disaster preparedness plans in place.

More information is available from the Web sites located at

www.att.com/safeguard, www.att.com/quickcheck and www.ReadyRating.org.