24
Jun
2021

Disaster Preparedness for Small Business

The Importance of Preparing for a Disaster

Disaster preparedness is an essential aspect of preparation for every small business. It is crucial to prepare appropriately for a disaster.

In a natural disaster, it is challenging to decide what you will need for your small business. When the unexpected happens, like a tornado, earthquake, or pandemic, you will want to be prepared for anything and everything that may come your way.

Some small businesses assume that if they are not too big or too small, they do not need to prepare for a disaster until it happens. The last thing you’d want to think about on an already stressful day is whether or not your business will still be standing after the disaster strikes. Having a plan in place before anything happens can save your business and even save lives.

What to Consider When Planning Your Disaster Preparedness Strategy

In a small business, a disaster preparedness strategy is different from that of an individual or a larger organization. It is more about the process and less about the result.

There are some critical aspects to note when planning your disaster preparedness strategy for a small business. We have outlined those below:

– Your company’s operating budget: you’ll need to allocate a specific sum for your plan?

– Your human resource capacity: who are you willing to delegate for this task?

– Your employees’ availability: who has the time and energy to put into this project?

– The size and scope of your area of operation: how long will it take you to recover from an evacuation?

How to Create an Effective Crisis Response Plan

Step 1: Identify the Risk.

The first step in creating an effective crisis response plan is to determine the risks that are most likely to occur in your business. This includes identifying potential threats and assessing how each of those threats might affect your business, its customers or its stakeholders.

Step 2: Plan development.

Planning for a crisis can be difficult for small businesses. It is vital to prepare for these critical moments to mitigate the damage and prepare for future emergencies.

Developing a plan is a process that starts with identifying the potential risks that could occur, assessing what may happen if the events happen, and finalizing the project with recommendations on how to respond to each of those scenarios. 

It is also important to note the following during plan development:

• A customized list of contact persons and contact information for each person on the list

• A schedule of regular check-ins for employees who are not in the office

• At least three methods of communicating during a crisis

• A list of emergency numbers and access codes

• Links to training videos that cover topics such as how to shut down computers remotely, how to take care of those affected by a disaster

Step 3: Implementation and Training

To create an effective crisis response plan, it is crucial to have all employees in an organization trained and aware of their responsibilities on what they should do during this process. Training could be through workshops, videos, and other relevant methods.

A company could also teach employees how to do their own crisis response plan if they feel comfortable with that level of responsibility.

Takeaway

Small businesses face many risks and disasters. That’s why awareness and preparation are fundamental. To get prepared for the unexpected, small business owners need to have a flexible and scalable plan. They must also understand how their business can act as a lifeline during any emergency.

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