By April Roberts Holland, CEO, Startup Black Business
As we approach the start of Hurricane Season (June 1st), I’m reminded that there’s no substitute for being well prepared. Whether creating our family disaster plan, building our disaster kit and conducting periodic drills, extensive practice and preparation greatly increases the chances of a successful outcome. I recently conducted a weekend long exercise at home. Putting the family through game-like drills and scenarios is critical to their being both mentally and physically prepared to respond in during a disaster.
Proper preparation at home is not much different than preparation in the work place. Creating a disaster plan that has organizational “buy-in”, ensuring each department has fully stocked disaster supplies and ensuring that plan is ready to execute, will greatly reduce the risks of surprises or negative outcomes.
In the home – at work - there is no substitute for good preparation!
Here are a few resources to help your organization establish or improve you company emergency preparedness strategy.
Business continuity is planning, preparatory and related activities intended to ensure that an organization's critical business functions will either continue to operate despite serious incidents or disasters that might otherwise have interrupted them, or will be recovered to an operational state within a reasonably short period.
Business continuity includes three key elements:
1. Resilience: critical business functions and the supporting infrastructure are designed and engineered in such a way that they are materially unaffected by most disruptions, for example through the use of redundancy and spare capacity;
2. Recovery: arrangements are made to recover or restore critical and less critical business functions that fail for some reason.
3. Contingency: the organization establishes a generalized capability and readiness to cope effectively with whatever major incidents and disasters occur, including thosethat were not, and perhaps could not have been, foreseen. Contingency preparations constitute a last-resort response if resilience and recovery arrangements should prove inadequate in practice.
Ready.gov has tools to make your job easier. Download:
“Commuter Emergency Plan”
“Emergency Response Resource Plan”
“Emergency Resource Plan”
“Business Continuity Planning Suite”
These tools are useful when providing training and implementation throughout your organization.
American Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program
The Ready Rating™ program is designed to help your business or organization get better prepared for emergencies. Below are the five cornerstone preparedness actions of the Ready Rating program. When you join the Ready Rating program, you'll get access to a detailed Ready Rating Program Guide that directs you through each of these steps. This condensed version of the Program Guide is designed to provide a snapshot of how the American Red Cross can help your business get better prepared. For more information on this valuable program, visit http://www.readyrating.org/lobby.aspx.
In order for an organizational preparedness program to be successful, there must be “buy in” throughout the organization. We must also ensure that our personnel are familiar with the “Company” policy on Emergency Preparedness. FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has several relevant courses to assist your staff in preparedness and that all personnel are ready to act, in case of emergency. Independent Study Exams now require a FEMA Student Identification (SID) Number. If you do not yet have a SID, register for one today: https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid.
FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute offers the following web-based, independent study courses and exams to help your organizations preparedness and training efforts:
“IS-394.A: Protecting Your Home or Small Business from Disaster”
“IS-909: Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone”
“IS-106.15:Workplace Violence Awareness Training 2015”
“IS-906: Workplace Security Awareness”
I originally wrote this article, in 2015, for my company Evac2Go. Evac2Go provides peace of mind, helping individuals, families and organizations reduce calamity resulting from natural and man made disasters. We promote Disaster Preparedness for All. Visit at http://evac2go.co.