In an emergency, the actions you take within the first few minutes will largely dictate the severity of consequences to follow. Unexpected situations can happen at any time, which means your company needs a plan of action in order to minimize damage and loss.
The right emergency preparedness plan can make the difference between surviving a crisis and losing everything. Here’s how to help ensure your organization is prepared for the unexpected.
How Businesses Can Better Prepare for Emergencies
1) Conduct risk assessments and safety audits of your facilities.
While there are few ways to lower the risk of a natural disaster, there are measures your organization can take to protect its people and assets in the wake of one. Organizations should conduct frequent audits of fire prevention systems and safety protocols. It’s also wise to conduct risk assessments and a business impact analysis to determine ways to improve disaster planning efforts.
2) Create accurate egress plans and evacuation routes.
Even if occupants have never done a fire drill in your building, they should know where to go in an emergency. Your egress plans should clearly designate primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits for occupants to use. Designate an outside meeting place where everyone can be accounted for as they evacuate the building. (Looking to update your egress plans? Read “How to Create An Egress Plan” here.)
3) Collect contact information from local emergency personnel.
At a minimum, speak to your local fire department, police department and emergency medical services to determine their anticipated response times in an emergency, their knowledge of your facility and its hazards, and their capabilities to stabilize an emergency at your facility. Then, contact appropriate disaster relief agencies, as well as essential suppliers and distributors for your organization.
4) Scan and upload vital business records to a cloud-based repository.
While some organizations opt to store important documents in a fire and theft-resistant safe, a smarter way to protect what’s important to you is to scan and upload documents to a secure, cloud-based repository. This way, your organization does not need to worry about documents getting misplaced or ruined in a disaster. Scanning and storing documents digitally will help guarantee order, longevity and accessibility.
5) Revisit your organization’s insurance coverage.
Take the time to review your policy with your insurance agent. He or she will help you understand your deductibles, limits, and the nature of your coverage. While there are many different types of coverage, all are subject to certain limitations and exclusions. Keep insurance information in a safe, reliable place so that you can access it quickly in the event of an emergency. This will help you expedite the claims process.
Get the Essential Guide to Business Continuity Planning
Research shows that 86% of building management professionals admit they are not prepared for an emergency or catastrophe. AkitaBox’s 5-step guide to business continuity planning will help your organization beat this statistic and create a reliable plan that works. With a little creativity, dedication and planning, your organization will be on its way to a safer future in no time.