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Emergency Preparedness Essentials
 

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Emergency Preparedness for Your Business

When most people think of emergency preparedness their thoughts immediately go to their family, not their business. Which makes sense, right? What can you do to protect your business anyway? Actually, there is a lot that businesses can do to prepare for and protect themselves against the negative impact of hazards they face in today's world including natural hazards like floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and widespread illness and pandemic. Human-caused hazards including accidents, acts of domestic and international terrorism as well as technology-related hazards including the failure or malfuncation of vital business systems, equipment or software can also have a devastating impact on businesses. However, businesses can mitigate the negative impact of hazards via a well developed emergency preparedness program.

This section of our website is designed to help safety minded business owners and managers develop a preparedness and disaster recovery program by providing them the knowledge and tools to create a comprehensive continuity plan that addresses he impact of hazards they may face. The preparedness program and continuity planning information we present is based on the Standard on Diaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs (an American National Standard that has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.)

The five steps in developing a preparedness program are:

  • Program Management
    Without organized and dedicated program management, it is difficult to build an effective and up-to-date disaster recovery and continuity plan for your business. It is important to invest time and financial resources in program management for your emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plan. Learn how to:
    • Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
    • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program

  • Planning
    The likelihood that your business will be impacted by one specific hazard is hard to determine, consequently, it's important that plan for many different emergencies, threats or hazards you could face. The main purpose of the business disaster recovery and emergency preparedness planning process is to develop an "all hazards" approach to confronting potential hazards that could negatively impact your business operations and the safety of your employees. Learn how to:
    • Gather information about hazards and assess risks
    • Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
    • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks

  • Implementation
    A plan is no more effective than its implementation. Implemenation of your business preparedness plan should address preparedness plan will address how to write a plan, assessing resources, managing incidents and training employees. Specifically, you'll learn about:
    • Resource management
    • Emergency response
    • Crisis communications
    • Business continuity
    • Information technology
    • Employee assistance
    • Incident management
    • Training

  • Testing and Exercises
    Testing, evaluation and exercises are an important part of an effective emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plan for any business. Learn how to:
    • Test and evaluate your plan
    • Define different types of exercises
    • Learn how to conduct exercises
    • Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan

  • Program Improvement
    Improvements to your disaster recovery and emergency preparedness plan can be at any time. However, one of the best opportunities for program improvement is following an actual incident. Learn how to:
    • Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
    • Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
    • Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements
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