How to Prepare

Business Preparedness

Business PhotoEmergencies strike suddenly and without warning.  They can injure your employees, damage structures and equipment, and interrupt or terminate business operations. Yet, injuries and damage can be reduced or avoided entirely if appropriate preparedness measures are taken. An effective preparedness plan can keep you in business after any emergency or disaster.

Here are steps businesses can take to prepare for major disasters:

  • Prepare and update your company's disaster plan. A good plan addresses the following areas:
    • Employee safety and basic survival 
    • Emergency operating procedures 
    • Emergency financial procedures 
    • Emergency communications systems
    • Emergency transportation systems 
    • Alternative office facilities 
    • Procedures to handle data processing systems 
  • Assemble emergency kits with water, first aid supplies, radios, flashlights, batteries, heavy gloves, food and sanitation supplies. Maintain in a secure, accessible location.
  • Consult local building codes to ensure that your building meets current seismic safety standards. 
  • Conduct drills to ensure that your company's emergency plan is effective. Revise as necessary.
  • Educate staff on how to protect themselves in a disasters, workplace response procedures, and how they prepare at home.
  • Secure and anchor equipment and furniture, including bookshelves, cabinets and computers.
  • Hold workshops on emergency preparedness topics, such as safety techniques, first aid and CPR, evacuation and damage assessment.
  • Include articles on the importance of workplace and home preparedness in employee newsletters, or provide employees with brochures or flyers.
  • Develop a business recovery plan on how to restore your business after disaster.
  • Conduct a "hazard hunt" to find potential dangers in your business setting.
  • Obtain agreements with vendors and customers for post-disaster operations.
  • Develop an inventory of critical supplies and equipment.
Resources
The Business Disaster Response Recovery Guide is designed to help guide businesses through the process of developing and exercising their emergency plan, reducing workplace hazards and organizing essential emergency supplies and equipment.

For assistance with completing a Business Continuity Plan, please contact the Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council (EPICC) for assistance at www.epicc.org.