How quickly your company is back in business following a disaster will depend on emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters, the occasional utility and technology outages, and the potential for terrorism demonstrate the importance of being prepared for many different types of emergencies. While recognizing that each situation is unique, your business can be better prepared if it plans carefully, puts emergency procedures in place, and practices for the kinds of emergencies it could face.
September 2012 marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.
Here are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to planning today will help support employees, customers, the community, the local economy and even our country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.
Plan to Stay in Business
- Bring together co-workers from all levels of your organizations as a planning team.
- Plan what you will do if your building is not accessible.
- Make a list of your customers and plan on ways to serve them during and after a disaster.
- Detail how your organization will communicate with employees, local authorities, suppliers, customers, the news media and others during and after a disaster.
Protect Your Employees and Your Facilities
- Provide emergency planning for employees so they know what to do if there is an emergency.
- Protecting employees during an emergency
- Make an evacuation plan
- Make a shelter-in-place plan
- Make a lockdown plan
- Identify a system to warn everyone to take protective action
- Identify the supplies you will need on hand when preparing for emergencies
Talk to Your People
- Communicate regularly with employees before, during and after an incident
- Encourage your employees and their families to get an emergency supply kit, prepare a family emergency plan and stay informed about different threats
- Support employee health after a disaster
Protect Your Investment
- Review insurance coverage
- Prepare for utility disruption
- Secure and protect your building
- Protect your electronic data and information technology systems
Test, Practice and Improve
- Test and evaluate your plan
- Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
- Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements
During the month of September, MBDA will continue to share resources to help you prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. So check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for new information.