There are two things every business should always have on hand: a complete and updated emergency response plan and a stocked emergency supply kit.
A disaster of any size could have a large impact on your business. Natural disasters like hurricanes can mean your business closing for a period of time and impacts to electricity, internet service, damage to your business and inventory, insurance changes and more.
Taking the steps to build a business disaster continuity plan, as well as encouraging your employees to create a family emergency plan, can reduce the financial and physical impact on your business. It is important to consider how a disaster could affect your employees, customers and workplace.
Step 1: Put together a business plan by answering these questions:
- How will you and your employees receive emergency alerts and warnings? What happens if you lose cell phone or internet service?
- What is the shelter plan for employees?
- What is the evacuation route for employees?
- What is your business communication plan? Do your employees have this information available (even if they lose cell phone or internet service)?
- Is your insurance information up-to-date, and do you have recent photographs of your business and its contents?
- Have you budgeted for emergency supplies, down time, or disaster recovery needs?
Step 2: Consider specific needs of your business:
- Would flooding impact your business? If so, do you have a plan to keep important documents, inventory and technology safe from floodwaters?
- Do you need employees to remain during an evacuation to secure your business? If so, is there a plan in place for this?
- If you lose electricity, do you have a plan for generator backup?
- How would you manage your business if nearby streets are closed?
- How would you continue to work if you were without cell phone or internet service for days or even weeks?
Step 3: Create an emergency plan and share with your employees
- Make sure the plan is available even if cell phone or internet service is down.
- Contact your local SBDC to get additional business preparedness assistance or to help you create an emergency plan.
- Update your plan quarterly and make sure all new employees understand the plan.