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Business Owners Should Prepare in Advance for Severe Summer Weather and Other Disasters

May 11, 2009 at 8:01 AM EDT
Capital One Small Business offers disaster-planning checklist for businesses

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 11, 2009-- As hurricane season approaches, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) today released an updated disaster-planning checklist for businesses that is available on The checklist emphasizes the following points:

  • Develop a continuity plan that addresses post-disaster recovery procedures;
  • Consider alternative operational locations;
  • Equip backup operations sites with critical equipment, data files and supplies;
  • Safeguard property;
  • Gather current contact information for employees, vendors and customers;
  • Develop multiple and reliable communication methods to reach employees;
  • Communicate details of the plan to employees;
  • Let customers and vendors know the business’ plan and what to expect from the business;
  • Develop a detailed action plan in the event of a mandatory evacuation; and
  • Prepare for emergency cash management to handle cash flow.

“Capital One’s disaster-planning checklist can help businesses plan for various scenarios resulting from natural or manmade disasters, including an area evacuation,” said Todd Kennedy, Managing Vice President, Capital One Small Business. “Just like a family should have a disaster-preparedness plan, so should businesses. Each business should tailor its disaster plan to its specific types of operations, and the checklist Capital One has created can help in developing the plan.”

In the event of an emergency, chief concerns for many businesses include: meeting payroll obligations, paying bills, restoring critical technology and communicating with employees, customers and suppliers.

“Businesses should develop comprehensive plans to address critical issues such as payroll, restoring technology and communicating with stakeholders, and they should test their plan before an emergency occurs,” said Kennedy. “At Capital One, for example, we have a comprehensive business continuity plan. Each year, Capital One rehearses and trains for business continuity challenges that may be presented by hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes, fires and other potential natural disasters or emergency events.”

Capital One also offers the following planning recommendations to help businesses prepare for potential emergencies:

  • Transport physical records when a business evacuates. Records should always be kept where they can be removed quickly and easily to a safe location.
  • Identify which aspects of operations can be suspended temporarily and which must be maintained. List the business tools they will need to perform operations essential to sustaining business during a disaster and the recovery period that follows.
  • Review communications capabilities for maintaining contact with employees. E-mail and text messaging should play a large role in employee communications planning.

For more information on emergency planning and preparedness for your business, visit

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., collectively had $121 billion in deposits and $150 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 2009. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One, N.A. and Chevy Chase Bank, F.S.B. have approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Capital One offers a range of products to meet small business needs, including small business credit cards, business money market accounts and payroll services. As the one of the largest issuers of small business Visa credit cards, Capital One provides specialized support designed to make it easier for small business customers to manage their finances so that they can focus on what's important to them. Capital One small business products are available via direct mail,, phone (800-926-1000) and fax.

Source: Capital One Financial Corporation

Capital One Financial Corporation
Steve Schooff, 972-295-1676