Disaster Scenarios - How to Prepare Your Business | SERVPRO® of East Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch
Most situations considered a disaster can’t be prevented. Creating a disaster preparedness plan ensures that your employees have the tools and the knowledge to know what to do if a disaster or emergency should occur and potentially save lives.
Making a Plan
Spending the necessary time designing a protocol to follow during a disaster can save lives and thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make it a priority to develop a plan and share the details with your staff. Another planning best practice is to review your disaster protocol monthly or quarterly to update it with any changes.
There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:
- Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
- Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
- Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
- Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure
If there is no emergency plan in place for your business, things could get even more stressful quickly regardless of whether the emergency is man-made or from a natural disaster.
You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By working with your employees to familiarize them with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.
Where to Start
When beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business, make an evaluation of the possible scenarios that are most likely to occur—even those that are highly unlikely but could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.
There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.
Also make sure to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA), which will help predict the potential effect a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure that you have a crisis communications plan in place, as well.
Once that plan has been developed and put into place, it is important that you go over it and practice with employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.
Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of East Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”