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Best Practices: Health Club Disaster Recovery Planning

The following post was written by Richard Beddie for our Best Practices series.

Question: Disasters of many kinds can occur anytime and anywhere. What sort of disaster recovery plan should a club have in place? 

Richard Beddie: Responding to a disaster is about setting priorities. The extent of the damage to the club and the regional infrastructure will help determine those.

Your top priority should be your staff—making sure that they feel safe and that their home life is secure. How individuals react will vary, but until your staff feels safe, their ability to aid in the recovery effort will be hindered.

Another important consideration is insurance. Obviously, you should have the appropriate type and level of coverage. So, one important step you can take now, before disaster strikes, is to ask your insurance agent to conduct a thorough review of your insurance—for both typical and atypical catastrophic events.

After all, here in Christchurch, we didn’t know that the city was situated on a “blind” or unknown fault line; that became all too clear when large earthquakes hit in 2010 and then, again, in 2011.

Before beginning any remedial work, take photos of the damage and gather as much evidence as possible. Most clubs insure their physical assets well, but many don’t insure fully for business-interruption losses. You don’t want to discover that your coverage is somehow inadequate—when you need it the most.

Richard Beddie
Chief Executive 
Christchurch, New Zealand 

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