Preparing is Good for Business

How quickly your company is back in business following a disaster will depend on emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters, utility and technology outages, and the potential for terrorism demonstrates the importance of being prepared for many different types of emergencies. By recognizing that each situation is unique, your organization will be better prepared if it plans accordingly.

A commitment to planning today will help support employees, customers, and even the community. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

Plan to Stay in Business

Business Continuity Planning:

  • Bring together co-workers from all levels of your organization and form a planning team. Discuss the different types of disasters that could impact your company and the likelihood that they might occur. The risks faced by you organization will vary according to the size, location, and nature of your operations.
  • Plan what you will do if your building is not accessible. Determine the staff, building equipment, and supplies critical to keeping the business operational. Create a list of resources necessary to restore critical business functions.
  • Make a list of your customers and plan on ways to serve them during and after a disaster. Identify key suppliers, shippers, contractors and other resources that you use on a daily basis. Assess the impact that a disaster could have on your suppliers and identify additional suppliers just in case.
  • For additional help on starting your Business Continuity Plan, download our 12 Steps to Business Continuity Guide.

Write a Crisis Communication Plan:

  • Discuss how your organization will communicate with employees, local authorities, suppliers, customers, and other during and after a disaster.
  • For additional help on starting your Crisis Communications Plan, download our Crisis Communications Plan Guideline.

Protect Your Employees and Your Facilities

Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable assets.

  • Provide emergency planning information to employees.
  • Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in company emails, etc.
  • Ask employees to provide emergency contact information.
  • Designate a telephone number at a location away from your primary facility where employees can call in order to check in and receive instructions.
  • If you have employees with disabilities or special needs, ask them what assistance they would need.

Develop an evacuation plan for all facilities. The ability to evacuate workers, customers, and visitors quickly can save lives. A fire, chemical spill, bomb threat, or other hazard inside the building would require immediate evacuation.

  • Make sure there is a warning system that everyone can hear and two ways out of every part of the building.
  • Identify a location where everyone can gather outside of the building to identify and missing persons.
  • If your company is in high-rise building or large multi-tenant building, coordinate planning with the building manager.

Test, Practice and Improve

Practice the Plan with Co-workers

  • Conduct regularly scheduled education and training sessions to provide co-workers with information, identify needs, and develop preparedness skills.
  • Include disaster training in new employee orientation programs.
  • Practice emergency procedures, such as evacuation drills, with all employees.
  • Inspect, test, and maintain fire detectors, suppressors, and life safety systems, including standby generators.
  • Make sure that all resources required for your emergency and business continuity plans are ready in case an emergency occurs.