Planning for Businesses
Today during week two of National Preparedness Month (NPM) we will focus on preparing and planning for businesses.
Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software.
Ready Business will assist businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards. This website and its tools utilize an “all hazards approach” and follows the program elements within National Fire Protection Association 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. NFPA 1600 is an American National Standard and has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The five steps in developing a preparedness program are:
- Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
- Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
- Gather information about hazards and assess risks
- Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
- Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
Write a preparedness plan addressing:
- Resource management
- Emergency response
- Crisis communications
- Business continuity
- Information technology
- Employee assistance
- Incident management
Testing and Exercises
- Test and evaluate your plan
- Define different types of exercises
- Learn how to conduct exercises
- Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
- Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
- Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program.
- Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements
Small Business Toolkit
Don't let a power outage, hacker disruption, or major disaster put you out of business. Disaster planning is an important part of the business planning process helping you to recover faster and preserve business continuity. Without proper planning, a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, possibly shutting down your business forever. But by taking proactive steps to mitigate your risk, you can anticipate the unexpected.
Knowing what to do before, during, and after disruptions or large-scale disasters is critical. A small investment of time now can help alleviate major challenges, and costs, in the future.
To assist you, we have collected some leading resources so you can quickly find what you need. Whether you have a few hours to get started with a few of the basics or time to invest in implementing a full business continuity plan, there is something here for every small business. You will find a wealth of information in the following sections:
- Preparedness Programs for Your Business
- Tools and Resources to Plan, Prepare, and Protect
- What to Do After a Disaster
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