Business Preparedness: A Checklist
Is your business prepared to deal with an emergency? Here’s a list of tasks – some will cost you nothing – which will leave you more prepared to deal with an emergency or disaster.
- Meet with your insurance provider to review current coverage.
- Create procedures to quickly evacuate and shelter-in-place. Practice the plans.
- Talk to your people about the company’s disaster plans. Two-way communication is central before, during and after a disaster.
- Create an emergency contact list, include employee emergency contact information.
- Create a list of critical business contractors and others whom you will use in an emergency.
- Know what kinds of emergencies might affect your company both internally and externally.
- Decide in advance what you will do if your building is unusable.
- Create a list of inventory and equipment, including computer hardware, software and peripherals, for insurance purposes.
- Talk to utility service providers about potential alternatives and identify back-up options.
- Promote family and individual preparedness among your co-workers. Include emergency preparedness information during staff meetings, in newsletters, on company intranet, periodic employee emails and other internal communications tools.
- Buy a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm.
- Decide which emergency supplies the company can feasibly provide, if any, and talk to your co-workers about what supplies individuals might want to consider keeping in a personal and portable supply kit.
- Set up a telephone call tree, password-protected page on the company website, an email alert or a call-in voice recording to communicate with employees in an emergency.
- Provide first aid and CPR training to key co-workers.
- Use and keep up-to-date computer anti-virus software and firewalls.
- Attach equipment and cabinets to walls or other stable equipment. Place heavy or breakable objects on low shelves.
- Elevate valuable inventory and electric machinery off the floor in case of flooding.
- If applicable, make sure your building’s HVAC system is working properly and well-maintained.
- Back up your records and critical data. Keep a copy offsite.
More than $500
- Consider additional insurance such as business interruption, flood or earthquake.
- Purchase, install and pre-wire a generator to the building’s essential electrical circuits. Provide for other utility alternatives and back-up options.
- Install automatic sprinkler systems, fire hoses and fire-resistant doors and walls.
- Make sure your building meets standards and codes. Consider a professional engineer to evaluate the wind, fire or seismic resistance of your building.
- Consider a security professional to evaluate and/or create your disaster preparedness and business continuity plan.
- Upgrade your building’s HVAC system to secure outdoor air intakes and increase filter efficiency.
- Send safety and key emergency response employees to trainings or conferences.
- Provide a large group of employees with first aid and CPR training.
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