Emergencies take many forms, from fires and floods to explosions and industrial spills. Each one has a way of interrupting and harming your business. Left unprepared, you could end up closing your doors for months or longer during the recovery process. Plus, about 25 percent of businesses don’t reopen after a disaster.
For these reasons, it’s imperative to create an emergency response plan or update your existing plan. These plans aren’t one-size-fits-all, but here are some tips to help you prepare for disasters, large and small.
- Know what disasters pose the biggest threats: While a good disaster plan is flexible, the best caters to your organization and the threats most likely to become an issue. For instance, you should prepare for hurricanes if you live on the east coast and plan for tornadoes if you live in Tornado Alley.
- Perform a risk assessment: When it comes to disaster planning, it’s the little things that count. Walk through your business and look for areas that could prove problematic, such as a blocked evacuation route or missing fire extinguishers.
- Plan for as many scenarios as possible: Can you continue operations during a power outage? Do you have an evacuation plan for disabled employees and customers? What about securing the building if it’s damaged?
- Assign a disaster response team: Disasters can cause panic, so create a leadership team of trained, well-informed employees to help maintain order. This team gives instructions and completes vital tasks, such as leading evacuations and calling 911.
- Run emergency drills: Keep your entire staff well-versed in emergency procedures by running drills periodically.
- Keep emergency contact information on file: Make sure you have a list of emergency phone numbers for all your staff members. Maintain both physical and digital copies for easy access in different situations.
- Insure your business: Natural disasters can be financially devastating. Get insurance coverage now so it’s easier to get back on your feet once the storm passes.
- Establish backups and redundancies: Losing mission-critical data is another significant threat to many businesses. Keep digital, offsite backups of important information so you can resume normal operation as quickly as possible. Also, store priority records—including bank account numbers, building plans, and insurance policies—in a waterproof container onsite, as well as a secure location offsite.
- Identify and plan ways to support your employees: Your staff is equally likely to be impacted by a disaster as your business. Help keep them safe and able to return to work by planning ways to make resources available to them, including housing, transportation, and childcare.
- Sign up for severe weather alerts: Download the FEMA app to receive safety tips and severe weather alerts so you’re never caught off guard.
Bring out your best while being ready for the worst with a disaster response plan. For more emergency preparedness tips or to request an immediate response from our disaster restoration company, please call DKI at 877-533-0210 or contact us online today.