Emergency Preparation: Getting Ready for an External Disaster
This is a topic few want to discuss but all business owners should address, especially in the wake of the natural disasters that have struck our valley. Due to recent fires and accompanying power outages, it’s been a challenging time for some businesses in the past couple of months.
While you may not be able to control the external variables that play into natural disasters, you can control your company’s response through preparation and readiness. Think about the plan you already have in place (if you don’t have one, this is a great place to start). You likely already have procedures implemented for your day-to-day operations and common challenges and having an emergency action plan at the ready is simply a part of that.
The best way to protect yourself and your employees is to be prepared to respond to an emergency before it occurs. Very few people think logically and clearly in times of crisis, so giving your employees specific actions to take should the time come will reduce the potential for chaos.
Putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by looking at your team and delegating emergency responsibilities to each one based on their strengths. Make a point of stating emergency exits, a list of practical potential needs (i.e. water, food, first-aid kits, etc.), where to find those items, and have a contact list of local emergency professionals in your area. Include your employees in your action plan by setting aside time at least once a month to go over your plan as an easy way to ensure safety for you and your team.
IT and Communication
Once an action plan has been established, begin addressing an approach to preserving your records and communications. This starts at the individual level by creating a line of communication for everyone in your workplace using instant messenger apps like Facebook or Slack so everyone can mark themselves safe.
Protecting your vital data and records is also essential not just for the sake of maintaining data, but also to ensure your business can become operational again quickly once the danger has passed. Ideally, keeping at least three copies of your data in at least two different formats (the cloud, disk, external hard drive, etc.) will allow you to keep a copy of this data in an offsite location to protect against whatever your business might face. Not only does this grant peace of mind, it also ensures means of opening your doors quicker and more efficiently once the disaster is over.
To find out why many businesses are choosing to move to the Santa Clarita Valley:
The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation (SCVEDC) is a unique private / public partnership representing the united effort of regional industry and government leaders. The SCVEDC utilizes an integrated approach to attracting, retaining and expanding a diversity of businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley, especially those in key industry clusters, by offering competitive business services and other resources.