Learn How to Protect Your Business from Disaster
How quickly a business returns to operation after a tornado, fire, flood or civil emergency often depends on emergency planning and business disaster preparation done well beforehand. Natural disasters can – and do – occur at any time, but up to 40 percent of businesses affected by a disaster never re-open. Your organization is more likely to survive if it plans carefully, puts emergency procedures in place and practices for all kinds of emergencies. These are the messages being shared during National Preparedness Month in September.
Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.
National Preparedness Month is designed to raise awareness and encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, workplace, organizations, businesses and places of worship. The month is sponsored by the Ready Campaign, a joint effort of FEMA and the Ad Council. Ready, and its Spanish-language version Listo, ask individuals and businesses to take four key actions:
- Stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses
- Make an emergency / business disaster plan
- Build an emergency supply kit
- Get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies
There are many measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready for unplanned emergencies. A commitment to planning today will help support your employees, your customers and your community. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.
Every Operation Should Have a Business Disaster Plan
The Ready campaign has developed a variety of free resources specifically for business owners, including:
- Ready Business information brochure
- Ready Business poster
- Business continuity plan
- Business impact analysis worksheet
- Continuity resource worksheet
- Emergency response plan – to protect people property and the environment
- Insurance coverage discussion
- Risk assessment guide
- Worksheet for program coordinators
The campaign offers materials including graphics, videos and tips, brochures, social media content and more. It includes many resources for individuals and other groups, as well.
Safety Signage for Emergency Preparedness
A disorganized evacuation can result in confusion, injury, and property damage. That’s why emergency preparedness planning should always address specific evacuation procedures, including routes, exits and assembly (muster) areas. Most employers create maps from floor diagrams with arrows that designate the exit route assignments. Exit routes should be clearly marked with appropriate emergency signs. This includes emergency exits, assembly points and emergency equipment – such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits and spill kits – that may be needed. And remember to mark the location of your emergency response plan, too!
When practicing for emergencies, evacuation route and assembly / muster point signs help direct people to safety and keep them organized when they get there. If an evacuation is necessary, you will need responsible, trained individuals who can supervise and coordinate activities to ensure a safe and successful evacuation.
FEMA Emergency Preparation App
FEMA encourages everyone to install and become more familiar with the FEMA App. The App allows users to receive weather alerts for up to 5 locations, offers an emergency preparedness checklist, and provides safety tips for varied emergency situations. The App also lists open shelters and gives users the ability to upload and share disaster photos to help first responders.
Business Disaster Planning Resources:
Know the plan
OSHA Emergency Response Plan (ERP) Manual Sign
In the event of an emergency, a well-rehearsed response plan can make all the difference between a safe and successful operation and tragedy. Make a point to familiarize yourself with all workplace emergency routes and locations, as well as the proper procedures for different situations.