Many of us never give a thought to a disaster striking while we’re at work. We go about our daily tasks, never thinking about how we would respond in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. Many business owners never put together an emergency response plan and scramble when even the smallest threat strikes.
Don’t be in the 40% of businesses to not have a disaster plan for your business and employees. Follow these steps to keep everyone safe and informed.
Creating an Emergency Response Plan
- The first thing to assess are the potential threats to your business. Threats can be natural or man made and will not always be dramatic enough to hit the front page of the newspapers or television broadcasts. Start by thinking about the different situations that can strike your business-like fire, flood, major storm, etc. But don’t forget to plan for the less obvious issues. This could be technological attacks, a bomb threat, or even an active shooter. Each scenario is a little different based on the industry you’re in. Each will post a different threat level. You can reference the U.S. Small Business Administration’s risk assessment checklist for more information.
- During the first few minutes, people will panic. The most important priority is keeping everyone safe and sound. Focus on creating a procedure that will get people to the safest place possible or making your business the safest place during a disaster.
- When creating your plan, follow all local, state, and federal laws. OSHA provides emergency guidelines for small businesses. When writing your plan, it is important to consider the response times of all emergency services and who will be in charge of alerting the proper facility to your issues.
- Create a written document of your emergency response plan. Keep this in a safe place that’s accessible to all employees. You will also want to add this to your new hire paperwork.
What to Include in Your Plan
- Emergency planning requires a solid team to put the plan into action. Create a team of individuals that will be in charge of different jobs during the emergency evacuation. This can be as simple as guiding people to exits or directing someone to call emergency services.
- Walk through a training with the leadership team. It is vital that your leadership team understand and execute your disaster plan without hesitation. Training and practice are the two methods that will guarantee this.
- Have active drills with your entire staff. Depending on the size of your business, you could need to escort 10 people or 100+ people out of a building during a disaster. Keep the entire staff well prepared by practiced regular drills a few times a year.
- Keep fine-tuning your response plan based on new information, results of practice runs, or even changes within in the organization.
Don’t Forget Your Data
The safety of your staff is top priority. Once you have a plan in place and are certain they have all reached a safe and secure location, it is time to think about your business and your product.
If necessary, be prepared to take whatever you need to keep business up and running, including files and hard drives. Typically, keeping backup files and data in a different location off sight is the best plan of action.
Recovering After a Disaster
If a natural disaster hits your business, an emergency evacuation plan is only the start of the process. After the emergency is over and done, what are the next steps to getting the business up and running again?
At Rytech of SWLA, we’re ready for your emergency. The Rytech Code Red Commercial Solutions Plan is the perfect partner to your disaster plan. Choosing to use the Rytech plan will provide you with on call services 24/7, management services when it’s time for clean-up, insurance coordination, priority services, and much more.
Call Rytech of SWLA to discuss our service further and fully protect your businesses.