6 Steps to Emergency Preparedness for Your Business

Did you know 40 percent of companies affected by natural disasters are unable to resume operations?

Your company’s success after a major disaster is dependent on how quickly you are able to recover. Create trust among your clients and resume your operations sooner by adequately planning.

  1. Generate a Reliable Emergency Response Plan

Protect both your employees and clients by establishing proper evacuation routes. Keep everyone well informed by posting both the routes and plans throughout your facility and keeping emergency phone numbers readily available.

  1. Create and Maintain a Survival Kit      

No matter the season, every business should create and maintain a survival kit with disaster-ready items. Consider stocking your kit with standard items such as a flashlight, plastic sheeting, garbage bags, etc. Should disaster strike, you’ll need to take photos of any property damage for insurance purposes, so storing a digital camera with your survival kit is a good idea.

  1. Carry Adequate Insurance Coverage

Review your insurance policies and coverage regularly to ensure you are prepared for any disaster. Will your insurance cover you if your business is completely destroyed by a disaster? Will your policy cover a flood?

  1. Properly Back-Up Your Files

Re-establishing your business as quickly as possible is critical to recovery. With so many businesses depending on technology, it is crucial that all files and data are backed up in a safe, secure location. Many businesses consider off-site storage of backups. It is also recommended to store paper copies of important paperwork (including insurance policies and tax returns from the last few years) in a waterproof box (and maybe even off-site). Ensure any important files stored electronically can be mailed to yourself on a web service that can be accessed from any computer.

  1. Establish a Communication Plan

Having a strategic and efficient way to communicate with both employees and clients while your business operations are down is critical to recovery. Assign communication responsibilities to your team. Decide critical elements of your plan such as who will be responsible for contacting the insurance company? Who will contact clients? Who will serve as a spokesperson if needed?

  1. Plan for Temporary Relocation

Consider temporary locations should you be unable to access your office if disaster strikes.

Visit Ready.gov for more assistance in preparing your business for potential disaster. https://www.ready.gov/business

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