If you are a business owner, you are accustomed to making plans, keeping an eye on the future, and working hard to meet your goals every day. Still, it’s always possible that something unforeseen will happen that threatens your team’s safety or compromises your ability to conduct business. In the event of a fire, floods, tornado, infectious disease outbreak, or whatever the emergency – you must be ready to act.
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, a time for families, communities, and business owners to prepare for the unexpected. One of the most important steps you can take is to create a disaster plan. If you already have one, great! However, it’s essential to reevaluate your plan at least once a year to make sure it’s up to date. And, there’s no better time to do this than National Emergency Preparedness Month.
Create a Task Force
Assign managers, supervisors and employees to a task force responsible for completing the steps below. Involve human resources and the safety, security, and operations departments in your emergency preparedness planning. Finally, set goals and timelines for reviewing and updating your disaster plan.
Evaluate Your Business’s Challenges & Hazards
Certain challenges face almost all organizations, including fires, medical emergencies, injuries, and violence. Other threats may be specific to your geographic location and business operations, including specific types of storms, hazardous materials and dangerous equipment onsite, and threats from neighboring facilities.
If your business is located far from fire and police services, consider additional training to help your employees handle emergencies until help arrives. You may even want to invite emergency responders to conduct a walkthrough of your facility to help identify any problems you may need to address.
Make an Avoidance & Prevention Plan
Determine what steps your business can take to protect against relevant challenges and hazards. This may include increasing security, creating redundant IT systems offsite, and providing first-aid and fire extinguisher training.
Plan Emergency Actions
Know how you’ll respond in an emergency by taking these steps:
- Install an emergency alert system.
- Review evacuation routes.
- Detail equipment shutdown procedures and identify who will perform them.
- Assign a representative to communicate with emergency responders.
- Assess alternate sources of power, water, utilities, and communication to keep your business in operation after a disaster.
Practice Your Procedures
Conduct drills to test the emergency alert system and make sure every employee understands their role. If practice uncovers flaws in your disaster plan, correct them.
Review Your Plan Regularly
Schedule another review for next year. Conduct one sooner if new technologies, equipment, operations, or hazards are introduced to your facility.
If a disaster has struck your business, DKI can help you recover. Our disaster restoration company responds to various emergencies, including fire damage, water damage, COVID-19 outbreaks, and much more. We answer calls 24 hours a day and are committed to arriving onsite within two hours of your request for help. For more emergency preparedness tips or to schedule services, please contact DKI online or call us at 877-533-0210.