In today's world, businesses face the possibility of many natural disasters that could cripple the way each establishment operates. The rising threat of loss from floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes increases the cause for concern among business owners. At least 25 percent of businesses affected by a natural disaster never reopen their doors, mainly because they failed to prepare before disaster str uck . Businesses who increase their preparedness and readiness program will have the necessary tools and resources to respond before, during, and after a natural disaster occurs.
Planning for Natural Disasters
Businesses should plan to secure their assets against all natural disasters, whether they pose a direct threat or not. Assess the probability of certain natural disasters occurring, but do not rely on it. Natural disasters are unpredictable, making it important for businesses to plan for every possible threat. An effective preparedness and readiness program should have a comprehensive plan that covers everything from training employees to safeguarding assets.
Businesses should secure their assets using an all-inclusive approach, protecting their establishment from every possible threat. Incorporate prevention and risk mitigation strategies to develop a preparedness and readiness plan. Identifying time-sensitive and critical processes should also remain at the forefront of a disaster preparedness and readiness plan. Assessing this information will help businesses make informed decisions to offset the risks that often come with the impact of a natural disaster.
- Ready.gov: Planning
- Protect Your Property or Business from Disaster
- Disaster Preparedness and Readiness Plan (PDF)
- Disaster Planning Can Reduce Time to Recovery and Expense
- Disaster Preparedness Planning: Maintaining Business Continuity During Crisis, Disruption and Recovery (PDF)
Protecting Your Business From Flood Loss, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Wildfires, Pandemics, and Tornadoes
Emergencies and natural disasters can occur anywhere around the world. In the United States, people have seen televised scenes of flooded residential homes and buildings. Images of devastated businesses remain vivid for years after a destructive hurricane strikes. Tornadoes have left entire communities in shambles. But severe weather is only one source of natural disasters. Unpredictable earthquakes leave many homeless, and the engulfing flames of a wildfire can be damaging, too. As a result, federal and state responders remain on standby in the event that a natural disaster occurs.
While national preparedness and readiness responders help save lives, they can not be solely relied upon. Businesses need to develop a plan of action for every foreseeable event to ensure they remain operational. Statistically, businesses often go under if they do not resume operations within five days of a disaster. Therefore, getting the most out of a disaster preparedness and readiness plan will ensure the survival of the establishment.
- Protecting Yourself with Flood Insurance
- Can Your Business Survive a Flood?
- Guidelines for Pandemic Readiness (PDF)
- Workplace Safety and Health Topics: Storm/Flood and Hurricane/Typhoon Response
- Hurricane Preparedness Planning for Businesses (PDF)
Disaster Preparation Checklists
Businesses need to formulate strategies to execute a disaster preparedness and readiness plan. Following a strict plan using these preparation checklists will ensure that each business remains focused on securing their assets against unpredictable circumstances. Using disaster-specific checklists will also allow businesses to address any potential weaknesses in their preparedness and readiness plan. One mistake could cost a business thousands of dollars and potentially the life of the business. Review these resources to gain a better idea about disaster preparedness and readiness.
- Wildfire Preparation Checklist (PDF)
- Preparedness Essentials for Businesses and Organizations
- Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Small Businesses (PDF)
- Preparing Your Small Business for a Disaster (PDF)
- The National Hurricane Survival Initiative: Business Checklist
Developing a plan of action to respond during and after a natural disaster will lay the groundwork to ensure that businesses remain operational during times of crisis. In many cases, businesses still need to tie up loose ends to recover quickly. While it may not be possible to predict what will happen, preparing for what could happen may make all of the difference in the world.
- Is Your Business Ready?
- Prepare My Business for an Emergency
- Preparing for a Disaster (Taxpayers and Businesses)
- Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan (PDF)
- The Disaster Handbook
- Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool
- Open for Business: A Disaster Protection and Recovery Planning Toolkit for the Small to Mid-Size Business (PDF)