Hurricanes, heavy rains, flash floods, winter storms, and other disasters can endanger your business and put your property at risk. Help protect your employees and your business by developing an emergency action plan that’s flexible enough to cover any emergency that could arise.
Develop a plan
Advanced preparation can prevent or substantially reduce your chances of loss. Here are some steps to consider when developing your emergency action plan:
- Designate an emergency coordinator responsible for your emergency action plan.
- Establish chain-of-command and communication procedures—be sure to consider all your employees and their typical work environments.
- Identify communication resources and emergency responders, and confirm:
- Everyone can access resources in a crisis
- Contact information will be available during a power loss
- Information is updated regularly
- Detail your emergency action plan in writing—from identifying individuals responsible for plan action and coordination to noting procedures to follow in an emergency.
- Add a security component to your plan to protect against crime and terrorism.
Protect your facilities
Your emergency action plan should also address weather-related emergencies that could affect your physical locations. Here are some tips to help protect your facilities if a weather emergency is imminent:
- Protect windows and doors.
- Cover computers and electronics to prevent water infiltration.
- Shut off your building’s utilities.
- Anchor any loose objects located outside the building.
- Designate a protective shelter area for employees.
- Determine if your business is in a flood zone and, if so, what type.
- Transfer your inventory and equipment to a safe facility, if possible.
Protect your business records
The loss of records, files, and documents from a disaster can add to damage costs and delay your return to normal operations. The longer these records are unavailable, the more likely you are to permanently lose customers. To protect your important documents, first consider their vulnerability to different types of disasters (flood, fire, etc.), and take the following steps:
- Keep computers above flood level and away from large windows.
- Store vital documents in a secure off-site location.
- Back up electronic files and store copies off-site.
- Store records in a secure, fireproof location.
Put your plan into action
With your emergency action plan in place, you’re ready to help protect your employees and your business from whatever comes your way. Your preparation will help keep them safe during a disaster and may prevent losses, too.
For additional information on preparing for extreme weather and other disasters, or for other safety topics, please contact your Sentry representative if you’re a current customer.
If you’re not an existing Sentry customer and you’re interested in learning more about how our Safety team can help minimize risk at your business, contact us.