Ready Your Business: 12 Tips to be More Prepared

This weekend there were a lot of stories about Hurricane Katrina as it is the 5 year anniversary. One of the stories I was watching talked about some of the businesses that have still not been able to be rebuilt. It reminded me that being prepared is more then just a household affair. This article is from the Division of Homeland Security about having your business prepared. I’m not implying that these suggestions will protect you from anything and everything, but I found that they provided a lot of good insight and recommendations to think about.

1. CREATING A PLANNING TEAM/CONTINUITY OF AUTHORITYParticipants will discuss the importance of creating a planning team and who should be included. Creating a chain of command with continuity of authority maintains leadership during any type of operational interruption.

2. COMMUNICATION
Maintaining reliable communication with employees, key personnel, customers, vendors and first responders can minimize confusion during any type of event. Options and solutions for a communication plan will be discussed.

3. RISKS AND HAZARDS
Learn how to recognize the risks and hazards that are the most probably for your facility and location. How should you plan against specific types of interruptions?

4. INTERNAL/EXTERNAL RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES
Each business or organization has internal and external resources that can be utilized for emergency response and recovery. Participants will learn to identify what capabilities are currently available and how to develop others.

5. VULNERABILITY ASSESMENTS
What types of emergences within your facility or community are most likely to occur? This point will cover a vulnerability assessment tool to determine probabilities, estimate impact and assess resources using a numbering system to identify certain types of interruptions.

6. ESSENTIAL BUSINESS FUNCTIONS
Your bottom line could depend on how quickly you are able to resume normal business operations – but what needs to be operating first? Planners will learn how to focus on a company’s most essential business functions to retain the “what, who and how” of business resumption.

7. HUMAN RESOURCES
The human resources within your organization are likely your most valuable assets. Discover the skills and specialized training that cannot always be replaced with outside resources.

8. WORKPLACE EVACUATION AND SHELTERING IN PLACE
Training employees in a simple evacuation or fire drill plan prepares them to respond without confusion during an actual emergency event. Assigning responsibility to assist customers, clients, or patients out of the facility increases exit efficiency. Where should they go? What should they take/ How long should they plan to stay away? Or is it safer to shelter in place?

9. WORKPLACE EMERGENCY SUPPLY ITEMS
Emergencies are unpredictable and could happen during working hours. Is your workplace prepared with necessary supplies to sustain occupants for 8-12 hours if necessary? Receive a practical emergency supply list for workplace environments.

10. INSURANCE COVERAGE/REVIEWS
Would your insurance claim benefit be enough to keep you in business? Identify alternate types of insurance to cover possible gaps.

11. VITAL RECORDS
Could you provide vital documents or records upon request to an insurance provider, banker, or tax accountant? Recognize types of records that are vital to the survival of a business or organization.

12. DATA PROTECT/STORE/RECOVER
A major cause of business interruption is significant data loss. Human error, power failure, a facility fire –all could be the cause. What should an organization do to protect, store and recover vital records and safeguard their cyber system? (Check out computer back up with MozyPro Options)

Awhile back we did a fun post on 72 hour kits for the office. If you don’t have one already, you should check it out and get going on it!


  • I don’t know how many businesses actually implement these steps to preparing for an emergency situation, but I would agree that they should all be doing it. Disasters and emergency’s don’t just hurt people at home, but everywhere. Great article! I think this should be a wake up call to all businesses to start their own emergency preparedness plan.

  • I don’t know how many businesses actually implement these steps to preparing for an emergency situation, but I would agree that they should all be doing it. Disasters and emergency’s don’t just hurt people at home, but everywhere. Great article! I think this should be a wake up call to all businesses to start their own emergency preparedness plan.