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Emergency Preparedness for Businesses

It is important that business owners and management understand the potential impact of an emergency on their business.

What would you do if you had a major fire? Do you have your critical information backed up and in a safe place? Is your insurance up-to-date and does it cover business interruptions? Would your bank work with you during this type of a situation? How would your employees deal with an incident? Are they trained and do you have measures in place to support them? A major fire can be devastating but you can imagine the impact of a major disaster such as a tornado, ice storm, or river flood.

Disaster preparedness means being prepared for anything. Good planning and preparedness activities can significantly reduce the impact of a disaster and may prevent business failure. While a disaster plan is a key component of preparedness, it is not enough to protect you. You must take all of the steps necessary to mitigate and to prepare for disasters. This includes procuring the necessary emergency equipment and services.

Your disaster recovery plan must be integrated with your overall enterprise business continuity management approach and must be tested through drills and exercises that test your plans, your people, and your tools.

Continuity of Operations Plan

Key components of a continuity of operations plan include:

  • Threat Analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Mitigation Steps (disaster prevention and damage reduction)
  • Response and Recovery Plans
  • Damage Assessment
  • Process Salvage Procedures
  • Rehabilitation Plans
  • Appendices - Appendices to the plan generally include notification lists and other items that must be routinely updated. Some examples are:
    1. Recovery team members: list of recovery/salvage team members (including work and home phone numbers), with description of their responsibilities, scope of authority, and reporting lines.
    2. Detailed building plans: may be incorporated by reference.
    3. Notification Lists: names and numbers of employees and vendors that will need to be contacted, including office and home numbers, and next of kin.
  • Resource lists: locations and inventory of emergency supplies, sources of commercial supplies/equipment that may be purchased, names of consultants and other specialists, sources of auxiliary/volunteer personnel, etc.
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