Business Disaster Preparedness Plans

Jun 03, 2021

In today's video we cover the importance of developing or updating your business' disaster preparedness plans. We have also included the written version below, if you would rather read at your own pace.

Every business has inherent risk for interruptions. This past year alone has proven that biological events can have wide scope impacts on individuals, families, schools, businesses, and the greater society. There are internal (weaknesses) and external (threats) that every organization faces. Have you assessed your organizations risks?
Check out these stats alone:
• In 2013 the NFPA estimated that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. These fires caused an annual average of four civilian deaths, 44 civilian fire injuries, and $112 million in direct property damage. The vast majority of the fires in this category were in business offices.
• Earthquakes are a threat in most states within the U.S. and WA state ranks in the top three.
• According to the USGS, Flooding is the number one cause of disasters in WA State.
So, we ask you to ponder the following:
• Has your business looked at these threats and others to assess the risk to your business?
• Has a plan been put together?
• Have staff been trained?
• Has the plan been tested, exercised, updated, and maintained?
We share these statistics and questions to ponder to help you assess your vulnerability. Without an effective plan in place, you run the risk of becoming a statistic for failing. FEMA reports that nearly 25% of businesses do not reopen their doors after a disaster and of those that do reopen, the SBA estimates that nearly 90% will close their doors within two years following the disaster.
Nearly all experts in the field of disaster preparedness agree that having an effective disaster preparedness plan in place is one of the best methods to put into practice to protect your business, its assets, and your reputation. An effective plan will include steps to establish upper management and financial support, assessments for your specific risks, identification of your essential operations, development of contingency plans for recovery, implementation of life safety and effective emergency response plans, effective testing, training and maintenance of said plans.
These plans will not happen overnight. You will need to allocate significant amounts of time and money to the development, implementation, testing and maintenance of your plans. Keep in mind that for every dollar you spend on preparedness efforts, you will save 4-6 times that cost in response and recovery efforts.
Now is a great time to develop or go back and look at your plans and assure that they are as robust and up to date, as possible. Take this past year and conduct an after-action report, which is basically assessing how prepared you were in your response and recovery. Likely, you will find gaps in your plan and that is where you make alterations and improve your existing plans. Likely improving your outcome to the next interruption.
Good luck my friends. As always, we are here to help you with your development, implementation, testing and training efforts. You can reach me directly at [email protected] or visit our website at