The Advancing Leadership Blog

Are you prepared for a disaster? Four Tools to Help Develop your Business Emergency Plan

You never know when disaster may strike your business – are you ready if it does? Indispensable as any business strategy, an emergency response plan is essential to the survival of your business. Having a plan in place will help your business quickly bounce back from a state of emergency.

When creating your business emergency plan consider these four things:

1.    How are you going to communicate with your employees/customers?

Having a communications plan is critical to notifying your customers and staff about the current situation and how it will affect them.

Ensure you have an accessible list of all employee and customer contact information that is available remotely. 

If you choose to email your employees, ensure all of them have remote access to their work email. If not, have a copy of their personal email on record to make sure you can contact them.

Ask your employees to check in so that you know if anyone has been harmed by the disaster.

Providing updated, timely information about how your company is being affected and your plans to handle the crisis is essential.  Social media is an excellent tool to let your customers know what’s going on.

When an emergency hits, make sure you update all of your social media feeds. To create engagement provide up to date information about what is happening.

2.    Have a plan to work remotely

 Having a plan to work remotely can continue a flow of business even if your employees are not able to make it into work. After an emergency has struck provide your employees with instructions on how you would like them to continue working. Is it possible they will be doing the same work as before? If not outline the tasks you need them to complete.

If you are unable to work remotely consider continuing to pay your employees their salaries or find them alternative tasks/locations to work from.

3.    Help your employees

Offering assistance to your employees in a state of emergency creates good rapport and strengthens relationships.

If you cannot provide your employees with their full time hours try to set them up remotely or give rotating shifts to allow for some flow of income.

Providing employees with as much support as possible depending on the emergency staff may be dealing with the loss of homes or loved ones. Any additional support that can be offered to them or the community is always welcomed.

4.    Recovery Assessment

Once the emergency has passed, assessing the damage can be a scary task. Have a plan outlining who you will contact first – people like your insurance provider or your building administrator.

As soon as the disaster strikes, begin to create a recovery plan. Questions to consider are what will you need from your staff? Have other parts of your industry been affected, such as your suppliers? If so how are you going to get your resources?

Asking the tough questions right off the bat will help you to prioritize where to begin.

By having a plan in place, you will ensure that your business will survive a catastrophe. Just because it happens in other places doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you. Being informed of the possible loss and recovery actions you need to take to get your business back on track is a necessity for all business owners.

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