business plan

Emergency Preparedness: Businesses Need a Plan Too!

People think disasters happen to somebody else.  Truth is, all companies should plan for anything that might disrupt their day-to-day routine. It does not have to be a major event like a tornado or fire or flood. It’s anything that keeps businesses from operating.

When polling businesses about disaster plans, more than two thirds responded they did not have an emergency plan for their business. The Insurance Information Institute estimates nearly half of companies never reopen following a major catastrophic event that disrupts business for any significant length of time. Do you see a correlation?

It does not take much to create a plan. Creating a team and prioritizing what is critical for the business is a great place to start. Remember the saying, “It takes a village”? No one person can know everything about the facility, the supply chain, the personnel, the customers, or the company. After your “emergency preparedness team” determines what is critical for the business to survive, a plan can be put into place such as an alternative location.

Next, there is key information, critical to your business that needs to be kept safe. Contact information (personnel, vendors/suppliers, and key contacts with your largest customers), financials, and even back-up options for vendors and suppliers (should they be shut down for some reason). Whether the information is stored in a “cloud”, an off-site storage facility, or off-site server, it is important it be in a place where it cannot be destroyed or damaged.

This plan/document is a living, breathing document and it is important for the team to have on-going conversations concerning strategies to help the company recover from any disaster.

Read More

Your Emergency Plan is as Easy as C-A-P

What is an emergency? Perhaps the simplest definition is “any unplanned event that causes death, injury, or property damage.”  It has been said that less than 10 percent of people in the United States are prepared for an emergency. Being prepared for an emergency is as easy as 1-2-3, or in this case just remember three things, C-A-P.

“C” stands for COMMUNICATION.  Whether it is your business (check with employees to find out what they think are the essential elements of the business) or home (check with family members to determine what actions are best to protect the family from harm). In addition to communicating within the business and home circle, reach out to community resources such as your local Chamber of Commerce and your insurance carrier to see what advice they have about recovering from an emergency.

“A” stands for ANTICIPATION.  Here in Utah we do not get hurricanes like they do in Florida, but we do have occasional flooding, massive snowstorms, and those of us in the Salt Lake area are aware we live in an area with high potential to earthquakes. Maybe your company is located next to a rail line that carries shipments of hazardous materials. You need to anticipate any possible emergencies that might happen to you or your community.

“P” stands for PREPARATION.  It all starts with an emergency preparation plan, whether you are talking about a family or a company, large or small, one location or many locations. A sufficient plan that will allow you to face any potential emergency is critical to short and long range survival. For a business’s survival, it may be important to cross-train employees, so that is some are cut off from making it to work, other employees can fill in on essential operations. A plan should include an evacuation strategy and a course of action for contacting family members to see if anything is needed until they can return home. Homes and businesses should keep a supply of water and food just in case conditions prohibit people from leaving. Energy bars, electrolyte drinks, or anything that will provide you with basic nourishment for a minimum of 72 hours.

The key to being prepared for emergencies is to remember these three things.  Do this, and your family and/or your employees will thank you when the emergency is over.

Read More