Disaster Response Plan: How to Prepare Your Business for an Emergency

Disaster Response Plan: How to Prepare Your Business for an Emergency

Disaster Response Plan: How to Prepare Your Business for an Emergency

If disaster strikes, is your business prepared to take action? Here’s how a disaster response plan can help your business recover quickly.

93% of companies affected by a major disaster were out of business within a year. This is because they didn’t have a disaster response plan. There are many types of disasters you could deal with, so you have to make sure you’re prepared.

A disaster response plan is a great way to keep your business and employees safe. Below, we’ll review steps you can take to make it easier for you to recover should a disaster strike.

Check Your Coverage

First, see what kind of coverage you have. If you only have standard coverage, you may need to buy more insurance.

Areas with frequent hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc. tend to need separate insurance. Insurance companies will have to shell out more money if something happens, so they want the added protection.

Check out DisasterAssistance.gov to find out what type of help you can get in your area.

Create a Plan

Before a disaster strikes, you’ll want some form of plan in place. Without a plan, you won’t be prepared and it can cost you everything.

Your first step is to identify what the risk is to your company. For example, is your area prone to natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and snowstorms? You could also face health hazards (e.g. serious illness) or power outages.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has preparedness guidelines. You can visit their website to learn about different types of situations you may face.

As part of the plan, you’ll want to appoint one or more evacuation team leaders, as well as assign people to groups. This will help keep everyone together and keep track of who is where and with whom.

Next up, you’ll have to figure out how everyone will communicate during the disaster. How will employees be warned to evacuate and what emergency exits they should use? The team leader(s) will be the ones who will lead your employees to safety.

Moreover, if people get separated, what devices will everyone use to stay in contact?  You’ll want an employee roster with your team leader so they’ll know quickly if anyone is missing or injured.

You’ll also want someone in charge of backing up and storing data regularly. This way, if a disaster happens, you won’t lose any of your information.

You may want to use a couple of different methods to store your information. You can use cloud hosting services, as well as put the data on flash drives or portable hard drives.

Finally, establish where emergency supplies/toolkits will go. These should be easy to grab as you’re exiting the building. They will help protect your employees and/or provide aid should they get injured.

Put the Plan in Action and Train Your Employees

Once you’ve created your plan, it’s time to put it in place. You’ll need to train all your employees on the steps they’ll need to take when a disaster strikes.

This training will make everything run smoother and reduce injuries. Have team leaders run different exercises with their groups. This will prepare your employees for any situation.

Have a Backup Location

Should something happen to your building or if it loses power, you may want to invest in a backup location. You can use a local vendor to supply a backup location or create your own (depending on your budget). This will allow your business to continue running even if you’re not at your main location.

It’s Time to Create Your Disaster Response Plan

Now that we have discussed why you need a disaster response plan, it’s time to make one. There is no better way to ensure you, your business, and employees are safe.

Review our website for different guides you can use for your business.

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Preparedness is the calm before, during and after the storm.