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Emergency Preparedness


  • Submitted on 12 June 2014

    Created on June 12, 2014
     

    Hurricane SeasonDisaster can strike at any time, and even the most prepared businesses and business owners can be adversely impacted. Scenes of disaster replay on televisions across the country with numbing regularity: A hurricane blasts through Florida... fire sweeps through a small-town manufacturing plant...floods destroy a local business district... a winter storm causes widespread power failure in the Northeast.

    Every year emergencies take their toll on business and industry in terms of lives and dollars. But something can be done. Businesses of all sizes can limit injury and damage and return more quickly to normal operations if they plan ahead. Preparedness works.

    Why Develop an Emergency Plan?

    Business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, so it would seem natural for owners to take steps to protect those investments. While the importance of emergency planning may seem self-evident, the urgency of the task is often blunted by the immediate demands of the workplace. Also, owners and managers may have only a nominal idea of the risks their business faces, or possess only a limited understanding of steps they can take to reduce the potential impacts of disasters.

    Last but not least, the business person is prone to the all-too-human tendency to believe that “it won’t happen to me.” In the meantime, businesses will continue to suffer setbacks that often could have been reduced or prevented altogether had someone taken the time to plan.

  • Submitted on 04 September 2013

    Created on September 4, 2013
     

    Ready.govAs a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow. This September for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared.

    Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.

    Ready Business asks companies to take three simple steps: plan to stay in business; encourage your people to become Ready and protect your investment.

  • Submitted on 27 September 2012

    Created on September 27, 2012
     

    Contact Information CenterCommunications before, during and following an emergency is bi-directional. Stakeholders or audiences will ask questions and request information. The business will answer questions and provide information. This flow of information should be managed through a communications hub.

    Contact and Information Centers form the “hub” of the crisis communications plan. The centers receive requests for information from each audience and disseminate information to each audience. Employees from multiple departments may be assigned to communicate with a specific audience.

    The “contact center” fields inquiries from customers, suppliers, the news media and others. The contact center should be properly equipped and staffed by personnel to answer requests for information. The staff working within the contact center should be provided with scripts and a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) document to answer questions consistently and accurately.

  • Submitted on 25 September 2012

    Created on September 25, 2012
     

    Planning what to do in case of a disaster is an important part of being prepared. The IRS encourages taxpayers to safeguard their records. Some simple steps can help taxpayers and businesses protect financial and tax records.

    Security in Electronic RecordkeepingSalvaging the Ruins Picking up the Pieces After a Disaster

    Many people receive bank statements and documents electronically. This method allows for easy backup to ensure secure record keeping. Files can be copied to a portable electronic storage device, such as a flash drive, or onto a CD or DVD.

    In addition, you may scan your paper documents (W-2s, tax returns and other records) to create electronic files for safekeeping.

    Be sure to store these backup files in a safe location, apart from your business, in case your normal backup systems are destroyed. Convenience to your home should not be your primary concern. Remember, a disaster that strikes your home may also affect other facilities nearby, making quick retrieval of your records difficult and even impossible.

    Document Valuables and Equipment

    Publications 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook, and 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook, can help you compile a room-by-room list of your belongings or business equipment. This will help you recall and document the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. You can also photograph or video the contents of your home and/or business, especially items of great value.

  • Submitted on 14 September 2012

    Created on September 14, 2012
     

    When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential. Development of a business continuity plan includes four steps:

    • Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.

  • Submitted on 12 September 2012

    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.

  • Submitted on 27 June 2012

    IRS YouTube Videos
    Preparing for Disasters:
     Spanish | ASL

    With the early start of this year’s hurricane season, the Internal Revenue Service encourages individuals and businesses to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps.

    Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically

    Taxpayers should keep a set of backup records in a safe place. The backup should be stored away from the original set.

  • Submitted on 09 June 2011

    Small businesses interested in starting or expanding sales of their goods and services overseas have access to a new, free online tool that will gauge their readiness to export and help them develop an export business plan.

    The Export Business Planner, developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers a ready-made, customizable and easily accessible document that can be updated and referenced continuously as the business grows.

    The Planner, located at www.sba.gov/exportbusinessplanner, allows users to:

    • Determine their export readiness

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