Every September, National Preparedness Month is celebrated to promote family and community emergency preparedness now and throughout the year. The events of the recent past reinforce the need to take action as the country continues to respond to this deadly disease.
This is a great opportunity for businesses to understand how to prepare for disasters and reduce the risks to their employees. There are many ways businesses can achieve this goal.
Recognize that an emergency plan is important for any business
All businesses should prepare for disasters, no matter where they are located and what industry they are in, for disasters can strike at any moment. Certain industries can be more affected than others by an emergency, such as hospitals and medical facilities. Retailers, restaurants and all smaller businesses should create disaster recovery plans so employees are prepared to respond during an emergency.
Understand the weather risks in your region
There are many risks specific to each region of the United States. From May through November, the hurricane season affects the Southern states and the East Coast. Winter months bring blizzards and ice storms for the Northeast and Midwest, while wildfires or earthquakes may also hit the West Coast.
Besides the summer heat and thunderstorms, businesses are also at risk for cyberattacks that can affect reputation, brand, and customer loyalty if they don’t ensure their systems are properly secure. Develop your plan to address the major risks faced by your business.
Protect your company as needed by assessing risks and securing the building
Make a note of the areas in your buildings that require structural improvements based on the disasters that can threaten your area. Install dry flood mitigation materials to protect against flooding during hurricanes or flash floods. Take precautions against wildfire hazards by installing non-combustible siding materials such as brick and concrete. Hire a company to clear ice and snow in case of blizzards and winter storms.
Ready.gov has several toolkits to help you plan for any impending disaster. Also, make sure your workplace is adequately insured to protect itself from future liabilities, such as workers’ compensation, liability, and automobile insurance
Post your disaster recovery plan for your employees
A business continuity plan helps businesses recover from unexpected business interruptions, reopen quickly and minimize the impact on the employees. This free, downloadable toolkit from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) helps you understand the risks your business can face. All employees can make quick, informed decisions whenever a disaster occurs if the company’s disaster and emergency plan is continually updated, republished, and distributed.
The National Preparedness Month campaign, with its hundreds of resources and extensive publicity, will allow you to brainstorm ways to be safer during emergencies—a painless start to personal safety for all.