Is Your Business Ready for a Disaster Situation?
How would your business and your employees survive an emergency or natural disaster? This is just one of the multitude of things that must be taken care of when running a business, but it is one of the most important factors to think about—emergency preparedness.
This process will not stop all disasters from potentially happening, but it can still give you a head start for safety’s sake, and at least, make sure that your employees know what to do if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.
Creating Your Plan
Is this something you have already done? If not, how about taking the time to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations?
There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:
- Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
- Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
- Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
- Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure
It doesn’t matter if it’s a man-made incident or one stemming from nature, if there is no emergency plan for your business, the emergency could get even more stressful quickly.
You should make sure to include safety training and emergency preparedness in your company training process. By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.
Where to Start
So, where should you start when beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business? Start by evaluating which scenarios are most likely to occur—and even those that are a long-shot but could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.
There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.
Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA), which aids in the prediction of the potential effects a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.
After you have completed an emergency preparedness plan, don’t stop there. Be sure to go over it and practice with employees. By reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios, it will help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.