FEB 2014 – Will You Be Back In Business After A Disaster?

Every business should have a plan. How quickly your company can get back to business after a disaster of any kind often depends on emergency planning done in advance. You should plan in advance to manage any emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation, use common sense and available resources to care for yourself, your co-workers and your business’ recovery.

Risk assessment is a critical component of preparation. Start by reviewing your business process flow-chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operational. You should establish procedures for succession of management.

Make a list of your most important customers and proactively plan ways to serve them during and after a disaster. Also identify key suppliers, shippers, resources and other businesses you must interact with on a daily basis.

Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not accessible. Talk with your staff or co-workers and frequently review and practice what you intend to do during and after an emergency.

When preparing for emergency situations it’s best to think first about the basics of survival; fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. Encourage everyone to have a portable emergency supply kit customized to meet their personal need. Recommended emergency supplies include; water, food, both a battery-powered radio and a NOAA weather radio with an alert function, extra batteries, a flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, wrench or pliers, filter mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties.

Keep copies of important records such as site maps, building plans, insurance policies, employee contact and identification information, bank account records, supplier and shipping contact lists, computer backups, emergency and law enforcement contact information along with other priority documents in a waterproof, fireproof portable container. Store a second set of records at an off-site location. [1]

Over the next several months the Redlands Chamber will provide you with essential survival information to keep you and your business on track in the event of an emergency.

[1] U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA ready.gov