Plan now Before Disaster Strikes
Small businesses are vital assets to our economy and community. But did you know most businesses do not have a plan for emergencies such as a hurricane? Early preparation is the smartest way to protect employees and ensure business continuity.
- Identify Your Risk: Think through how a local disaster would impact your organization.
- Develop A Plan: Depending on the hazard, develop a plan to mitigate risk to staff, structures, and services.
- Take Action: Making a plan is not enough. Follow through by taking action on established plans when disaster strikes
1. Identify Your Risk
Every business has unique vulnerabilities and weaknesses. To protect your business and your staff, it’s important that you learn about the most common natural disasters that may affect your organization:
- Natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
- Health hazards such as widespread and serious illnesses like the flu.
- Human-caused hazards including accidents and acts of violence.
- Technology-related hazards like power outages and equipment failure.
2. Develop A Plan
The confusion of an emergency can make a bad situation worse, which is why it vital for businesses to develop a plan. A plan can minimize the effects of an incident or crisis. Ready Business and the U.S. Small Business Administration has emergency preparedness checklists and toolkits available online to help you develop a plan:
3. Take Action
You’ve developed a plan, but your work doesn’t stop there. Once your plan is complete, you’ll have action items. Identifying things that you can do now, like training staff or collecting items for your emergency kit, will save a lot of time and stress before or during a disaster. Practice your plan with your staff and have your emergency items in place so you and your business is ready when a disaster occurs.
Disaster Preparedness Tips
- Identify potential risks
- Develop a Business Continuity Plan and update annually
- Update your emergency contact list
- Protect vital business records
- Back up and store vital data
- Review existing Insurance coverage
- Establish an evacuation plan
- Create an emergency kit
- Train staff how to handle disaster
Leon County Emergency Management – The Division of Emergency Management coordinates emergency management activities, services, and programs within the county and serves as liaison to the Florida Division of Emergency Management and other local emergency management agencies and organizations.
Ready.gov/Business – Ready Business assists businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.
SBA.gov – The U.S. Small Business Administration provides emergency preparedness checklists and toolkits that focus on disasters that pose a real risk to your small business.
FloridaDisaster.biz – FloridaDisaster.biz is a partnership between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) that provide immediate and short-term assistance to business and industry as well as economic stabilization.
How We Can Help
OEV is your source for vital business information for hurricane preparation and recovery. For additional information on local business assistance during disasters, please contact the OEV at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 219-1080.