According to the Insurance Information Institute, up to 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster. However, just as in everyday activities, having a sound strategic plan can assist businesses, schools, churches and other organizations in disaster response. Before an emergency occurs, a threat assessment and mitigation actions can minimize the impact an event may have on your organization. And, if something were to disrupt your organization's normal routine for a significant period, your pre-determined response plan will help on the road to recovery.
A preparedness plan that is consistent with the goals and objectives of the organization should be maintained. To be most effective, this plan should be shared with all management personnel, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. All employees should be familiar with the plan, and it should be practiced regularly to ensure the safety of all within your facility.
There are a number of resources below to help your organization develop and enhance its preparedness plan, but here are just a few of the issues you should discuss:
Is Your Organization Prepared for an Emergency and Recovery?
- Have you identified the main potential threats that can impact your operations?
- Who are the key personnel that would respond to your organization in a disaster, and have you identified backups to these individuals?
- Have your members identified and practiced using safety procedures to follow during a disaster?
- Do you have emergency resources available to accommodate all members of the organization in times of need?
- Do you have a means for contacting employees and their families in times of need, and do you have a redundant system to contact them if phones are disrupted? What business functions are most critical to your operation, and which could be suspended in times of disaster?
- How would you respond to an interruption in services by business partners, customers utilities and other vendors?
- Have you identified resources in the community that may assist your organization if needed, and have you offered your services to them if you’re not affected?