National Preparedness Month: Preparing Your Business

By: Sammy Slappey

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Is your business ready for an emergency? If you’re like most of us, the answer is no, you’re not as prepared as you would like to be.In fact, according to an Ad Council survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they do not have an emergency plan for their business. This is a devastating statistic considering a whopping 40% of businesses affected by a natural or human-caused disaster never reopen.

Your employees spend at least 40 hours at work each week, so when disaster strikes it is up to you to keep them safe. Create a disaster preparedness program for your company in five simple steps:

  1. Program Management
    -Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
    -Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program.
  2. Planning
    -Gather information about hazards and assess risks
    -Conduct a business impact analysis
    -Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
  3. Implementation
    -Resource management
    -Emergency response
    -Crisis communications
    -Business continuity
    -Information technology
    -Employee assistance
    -Incident management
    -Training
  4. Testing and Exercises
    -Test and evaluate your plan
    -Define different types of exercises
    -Learn how to conduct exercises
    -Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
  5. Program Improvement
    -Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
    -Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
    -Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements

Sound like too much work? Don’t worry, the Red Cross has you covered. with the Red Cross Ready Rating Program you can have free access to tools, resources and information for evaluating and improving your business’ ability to withstand disaster, maintain operations, and protect lives and property. m6240257_514x260-prepare-workplace The program includes an online assessment to measure your organization’s level of preparedness, an emergency response planner for your organization, an emergency supplies store, and an online resource center that has preparedness information, checklists an tools.

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