Posted at 5:59 AM
Disaster 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.
“Private sector preparedness is not a luxury; it is a cost of doing business in the post 9/11
world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money, and national security.”
— 9/11 Commission Final Report, Chapter 12
It Pays to be Prepared
Sometimes, when convincing people of the need for emergency preparedness, too much emphasis is placed on dramatic, worst-case scenarios — as if these were the only possible disasters that might occur.
At the same time, the more positive aspects of everyday preparedness are overlooked. Consider these practical benefits that can strengthen a business regardless of where it is located or what level of risk it may face:
Preparedness enhances a company's ability to recover from financial losses, loss of market share, damages to equipment or products, and business interruption.
Preparedness facilitates compliance with regulatory safety requirements of federal, state and local agencies.
Preparedness helps companies fulfill their responsibility to protect employees, the community and the environment.
Preparedness bolsters a company's security and enhances its credibility with employees, customers, suppliers and the community.
Preparedness steps taken by business owners and operators may help reduce insurance costs.
Download the Emergency Response Plan to protect your employees and your business.