Whether at home or at work, it’s always a safe bet to be as prepared as possible for potential disasters.
National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to raise awareness about the importance of being prepared for emergencies and disasters. For businesses, this observance provides a great time to consider specific risks that could impact employee safety and develop your own preparedness plan.
According to Ready.gov, businesses can face a variety of potential hazards related to natural disasters, health concerns, technology-related risks and accidents caused by humans. There are simple steps to create and implement an emergency preparedness plan for your business:
Identify Your Risks
Become familiar with the types of natural disasters in your location. Each season brings its own unique challenges, and it is imperative to plan for the risks your business may face for each. This can include earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, power outages from severe winds, and tornadoes.
Depending on the type of business, identify the likelihood of other kinds of disasters, such as health hazards in a healthcare setting, or information technology-related risks to equipment or processes.
Develop a Plan
Create a course of action for each type of risk and conduct safety drills for emergencies your employees may face. Your safety drill plans should include when to evacuate the premises and when to stay in place. In the event your employees are required to evacuate, include information in your plan on the routes that are available and how to access the company’s emergency kits.
Determine how to communicate with your employees before, during and after a disaster. Assign safety officers for assisting others in the event of an emergency, and consider accommodations for employees with special medical needs, including prescriptions and equipment.
Businesses should also review their insurance plans as they relate to the typical risks in their locations. Having the right type and amount of insurance can make the difference between a quick or more complicated disaster recovery. Consult your agent who can assist in determining what perils your policy covers (and in what situations coverage takes effect) to decide if additional coverage may be needed.
Take advantage of the resources at Ready.gov and use National Preparedness Month as the prompt to get a plan started for your company. Discuss your plans with others in your industry to help ensure those around you are also taking steps to protect their family or company.
While businesses may not be able to avoid a disaster, you can minimize the impacts by being prepared.