Business owners filled a conference room at the Ardmore Convention Center Thursday afternoon to learn how to protect their businesses in case of a disaster.


Business owners filled a conference room at the Ardmore Convention Center Thursday afternoon to learn how to protect their businesses in case of a disaster.


The presentation was organized by the Bramlett Agency, a local insurance provider, and Agility Recovery Solutions, a Texas-based company that specializes in disaster recovery.


T.J. Riley of the Bramlett Agency said that 78 percent of businesses that suffer a catastrophe without a recovery plan are gone within two years, and 90 percent of businesses that don’t reopen within five days of a catastrophic event are out of business within a year.


Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland spoke at the presentation about the importance of having a disaster recovery plan.


“When damage occurs you want to make sure you’re well insured and that you have a plan to get those doors open as quickly as possible,” Holland said.


Although tornadoes and floods are considered “mega events” by Agility Recovery Solutions and certainly pose a threat, Holland said that the damages most faced by Oklahomans are from chronic high winds and hail.


“We have some of the highest property insurance costs in the nation because we have very high incidences of damages as a result of wind and hail,” Holland said.


Brooks Beeler, a representative from Agility Recovery Solutions, stressed companies’ needs for having backup plans, including data backup plans for computer servers.


“Fifty percent of all businesses that lose their data never open their doors again,” Beeler said, “and only 6 percent survive long term.”


Commissioner Holland, however, said there are steps business owners can take to protect themselves that don’t involve additional insurance coverage.


“Most importantly you need to sit down with an insurance agent and have a good plan,” Holland said.