Disasters happen. Nature can cause problems. You can experience health issues that set you and your business back. You can also become a victim of thieves. However, you can plan ahead for a disaster and protect yourself from a worst-case scenario. Here’s how to plan ahead for a disaster.

#1 Make Sure You’re Insured

Speak with your insurance broker to make sure you have enough insurance to protect yourself in the event of theft or a natural disaster. You may also want to make sure your business is protected against any legal action. Finally, make sure your health insurance is up to date and accurately covers your needs.

#2 Protect Your Information

There are two steps to take here. The first is to make sure you have a reliable back-up system. Make sure your website and business information are saved in two locations. Create a system to back up regularly.

The second step is to protect your information from hackers and identity thieves. This may mean identity theft protection. It may also mean taking extra security measures with your website, personal information and protections.

#3 Think, “What’s the Worst That Can Happen?”

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “Plan for the worst, and expect the best.” That’s exactly what you want to do for your business. Cover yourself and your customers or clients. Make sure your legal documentation is up to date and accurately protects you.

Make sure your policies and procedures are legal and available to your public. Make sure you’re paying your taxes and accurately recording your income and expenses. Plan for the worst – for example, an IRS audit or a lawsuit – and expect the best.

#4 Be Financially Savvy

Have an emergency fund. Many finance experts recommend saving at least six months of income. That way if you have a health emergency or illness you have six months of income to live off of.

#5 Be Ahead of Your Time

Plan for the future of your business and take action. If you have a three month, six month, one year and a three or five year plan, you’re ahead of the game. And if you’re already taking action on those plans you can afford minor setbacks as they won’t interrupt your growth too much.

Disasters happen to everyone. Yet when you’re prepared for them they seem to happen with little or no impact. Disasters only have a huge impact on your life and your business when you’re not ready for them. Proper planning and careful attention to the foundation of your business are key. Take steps to make sure you have good insurance, savings, legal and financial documentation and security. You can be confident you’re prepared for whatever life throws at you.