Five Steps for Preparing your Business for Diaster

An earthquake in Napa Valley, flash floods in California, Nevada, and Arizona, and hurricanes off the coast of Baja, California. If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be ready? Have you identified the hazards likely to affect you and your business? Do your employees know how to handle the crisis? If you don’t have a preparedness program in place or have not updated it recently, now is the time!  Five main steps to develop and update an effective plan are outlined and summarized below by FEMA. 

Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software.

The five steps in developing a preparedness program are:

  • Program Management
    • Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
    • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
  • Planning
    • Gather information about hazards and assess risks
    • Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
    • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
  • Implementation
    Write a preparedness plan addressing:

    • Resource management
    • Emergency response
    • Crisis communications
    • Business continuity
    • Information technology
    • Employee assistance
    • Incident management
    • Training
  • 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
  • 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

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