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Disaster Planning for Businesses

Previously, we have shared some preparedness tips for individuals.  Another thing to consider is your business. Businesses can be an asset to a community when an event hits; local supplies can get a city back on its feet. It is very important to think about recovery as well. Not just for the business, but for the community as well.  Ready.gov has templates for building your own response plan. The ultimate goal is to get the business back on its feet and the more prepared a business is, the better the chance it can be up and running quickly if the damage is minimal.

Most businesses have employees. Employees keep businesses running. Why not consider developing and practicing plans for weather events such as a tornado or a blizzard to man made incidents such as an active shooter or a hacker attempting to access your data.

As mentioned earlier, there are templates available for different plans on http://www.ready.gov/ Not only is important to customize these templates to your work place, testing needs to be done and frequently. A good starting place would be to review the templates and  survey your business. Do you have a first aid kit that isn’t expired? Does your place of business have an AED – automated external defibrillator? Does anyone know CPR? Are there policies in place for severe weather? Those who commute, is there a policy in place regarding hazardous driving conditions? Does the layout of the office/building allow for situational awareness? Is there a policy in place to protect data – locking computers, even if you have to step out for a minute. Are passwords changed often? Do office doors lock? What is the policy for social media and internet not related to work?

Keep in mind, your employees may have training that could be beneficial to clients as well as personnel. Consider developing a training plan – getting a few people CPR certified, take classes/webinars/etc. for data security, develop policies to keep the business and the employees safe. Develop a tornado drill or shelter in place or an evacuation drill and practice it. The better prepared a business is, the faster the recovery may be; unless the building was completely destroyed.

Things to consider – what is most likely to impact your business. Do you need to prepare for flooding? How about Fire? A chemical spill? Active shooter? Severe storms? Consider making a list of potential incidents and develop some sort of plan to protect the employees and the business. Discuss with employees and look into training. And update that first aid kit.

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