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Disasters Require Preparing for the Worst

For a business owner, responding to a disaster - be it natural or man made - begins with careful preparation long before the calamity ever strikes. Having a detailed disaster preparedness plan to implement when called for can mean the difference between getting a business running again quickly or rendered entirely ineffective for an extended period. Or even worse.



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Disaster Preparedness Checklist

1. Develop disaster plan by identifying how your company can protect itself from natural or manmade catastrophe.

2. Prepare emergency kit, including nonperishable food, water, flashlights, emergency radio, first-aid kit and blankets.

3. Keep current phone numbers for your suppliers, employees, customers, utility companies and emergency agencies.

4. Designate alternate worksite from which to communicate to customers during recovery.

5. Practice walk-through drills and discuss each employee’s responsibilities

in an emergency scenario.

6. Make sure your facility meets all local building and fire codes.

7. Review insurance coverage (most policies don’t cover flood damage).

8. Be prepared for utility disruptions with a portable generator.

9. Scan all documents; backup data on external hard drives that can be utilized at a remote location.

10. Keep lots of cash on hand in the event it is the only means of purchasing goods and supplies.

Online Disaster Preparedness Resources

The following online resources are available to help small business owners learn about disaster preparation and how to speed recovery efforts.

  • The United States Small Business Administration provides information on how to prepare for disasters and the SBA’s disaster loan program which helps homeowners, renters and businesses of all size recover from disasters.
  • The American Red Cross offers free materials regarding disaster planning and recovery.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers free, step-by-step advice on how to create and maintain a comprehensive emergency management program.
  • The Department of Homeland Security shows businesses how to be ready for emergencies. The website includes a sample emergency plan you can use for your business.
  • The Institute for Business and Home Safety and The National Federation of Independent Business offer a variety of tools designed for small business owners to both reduce their potential for loss should disaster strike and to reopen quickly should they be forced to close.
  • Security contractors can also check their state government home page to see what resources are available. The state Web site usually consists of the state’s name followed by “.gov” (e.g., www.ohio.gov). Look for links to emergency management agencies, public safety departments and small business offices.

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Article Topics
Fire/Life Safety · Fire/Life Safety 2 · disaster preparedness · Features · Life Safety · All Topics

About the Author
Rodney Bosch
Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.
Contact Rodney Bosch: rbosch@ehpub.com
View More by Rodney Bosch
disaster preparedness, Features, Life Safety


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