Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illnesses. In addition, hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software. If your business hasn’t get started planning for a possible disaster, now is the time.
There are five steps in developing a disaster preparedness program. These five steps are listed below as well as listed as a checklist of steps to follow for your business.
1. Program Management
o Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program.
o Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program.
2. Program Planning
o Gather information about hazards and assess risks.
o Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) of how a disaster would affect your business.
o Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks.
3. Program Implementation
o Write a preparedness plan addressing:
o Resource management.
o Emergency response.
o Crisis communications.
o Business continuity planning.
o Information technology planning.
o Employee assistance.
o Incident management.
o Training of employees.
4. Program Testing
o Test and evaluate your plan.
o Define different types of scenarios that could happen.
o Learn how to conduct sample exercises for these scenarios.
o Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.
5. Program Improvement
o Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed.
o Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program.
o Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements.
o Continually monitor your plan to make changes and improvements as needed.
If you need help in creating a disaster preparedness plan for your business, please call your trusted small business advisor today. We are only a phone call away – (727) 391-7373.