Disaster Plan for Your Business
When it comes to owning a commercial business, you need to make sure you have a disaster plan in place. Natural disasters don't give you a warning to get out in time, and sometimes you only have minutes to act fast. One natural disaster that most people are not prepared for are earthquakes. Here are 6 steps to prepare you if an earthquake where to take place.
1. Assess the Earthquake Risk of Your Building
You need to get a clear picture about your business' earthquake risk factors. You need to know how ready or NOT ready your business is. It is recommended that all businesses perform risk assessments that find the strong and weak points of your plan. You should also schedule a consultation with an experienced firm to elevate the structural integrity of the building.
2. Create a Disaster Plan
These should be created and distributed to all of your employees beforehand. It is important to include ALL of you employees as you are developing a disaster plan. This way they if they notice any signs of an earthquake, they will know exactly what to do. Some of the things your disaster plan should include are:
- Contact information for all employees
- Communication plan
- Talk with employees with disabilities and make arrangements
- Hotline or text message system
- Schedule regular earthquake response drills to practice
- Emergency kit
- Safety checklist
3. Identify Your Building's Potential Structural Issues
Every business is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You will need to evaluate every aspect of your business and make preparations that are unique to your building's property. You need to understand the risks and take specific actions to help prevent earthquake disasters for your business, and to also protect your staff.
4. Bring in Expert Advisors
You can't afford to waste your time on hearsay or just anyone's word. Your business, life, and the lives of your employees and customers depends on doing things correctly and being truly prepared. Make sure you choose a reputable earthquake retrofitting contractor based on years of experience and high ranking results. This way it can translate to lives and business saved in those areas.
5. Develop a Comprehensive Emergency Communications Plan
Keeping your business in business after an earthquake often depends on effective communication. Be sure you have a plan in place that takes everyone into account. This includes your employees, your customers and your suppliers. Make sure you set up a backup communications plan that enables you to keep lines of communication open, even if you are unable to access your building. Make sure you employees know who to contact before hand so they aren't calling people they shouldn't have to call. Maintain an emergency contact list with police, fire, ambulance, hospital and other emergency services that employees know how to access quickly. Also, have your insurance company and attorney's numbers in a secure place.
6. After the Earthquake
Remember that it might not be readily apparent whether your building is safe after an earthquake takes place. There are usually aftershocks for hours and days afterward. Be sure to contact an experienced expert first for an earthquake damage safety assessment before you allow employees and customers back into the building.