This is the time of year to review and update your emergency plans and to make sure everyone is aware of what to do, and when to do it.
When emergencies and disasters do strike small businesses, the ripple effect can be overwhelming, often affecting the surrounding communities as well. And sadly, statistics show four in ten small businesses affected by a natural or man-made disaster never reopen.
Small businesses can quickly assess their readiness for emergencies and disasters with an interactive “Quick Check for Disaster Prep” online tool that helps businesses develop preparedness plans. The Quick Check works with the American Red Cross’ Ready Rating program, which is designed to help businesses become better prepared for emergencies.
On top of being aware that you need to be prepared, here are a few tips that can help you start getting your business planning and prepared for whatever may come your way.
If your company is located in Nebraska, you probably won’t have to worry about preparing for hurricanes. But you had better become an expert at tornado readiness. Out on the west coast? Maybe you better schedule some classes in earthquake preparedness.
Make sure your family and employees are aware of the location of all the shelters in their area and have a business strategy for evacuation. The regions evacuation routes should be learned. The direction of traffic flow during an emergency is of prime importance here. The time to figure these things out isn’t while a hurricane is bearing down on your home, or a tsunami warning has been issued.
Make sure you have a way to reconnect with your people! If cell phones aren’t working, consider how you will contact your family or loved ones. How will you let others know you are alright? Figuring this out ahead of time can make everything so much easier in an emergency situation. The Red Cross recommends using an out-of-area emergency contact to have family members check in with.
Everyone should also have a list of emergency contacts and local emergency numbers.