Business & Organization Planning Tool
Every business and organization should have a plan.
There are seven basic readiness steps for businesses and organizations.
Develop a Plan
- Create a planning team of key staff and stakeholders to brainstorm first steps.
- Start by determining your core services and how you can safeguard them?
- Identify your most immediate threat(s). Fire is the most common business threat.
- Discuss where your customers/patrons will go if you can't provide service / goods?
- Are there potential business opportunities following a disaster?
- Utilize free resources like www.ready.gov
- Coordinate with other building tenants.
- Join Santa Monica Organizations Active in Disaster (SMOAID)
- Utilize the no cost Business or Non Profit Continuity Template.
- Get management by-in.
Strengthen Human Resources
- Ensure that employees are prepared with seven days of food, water and supplies.
- Draft phone list of key employees and customers. Provide copies to staff or leave extra keys / alarm code with a trusted friend.
- Give staff specific responsibilities so they know what to do in case of emergency.
- Encourage direct deposit to ensure employee compensation.
- Train employees in CPR / AED, First Aid and basic Disaster Preparedness.
- Make on-site and off-site copies of:
Current credit report
Tax records, accounting records
Production records, customer lists, vendor lists
- Backup and routinely update creditor and supplier contact information.
- Consider remote internet backup. Ensure backup facility is far enough away to avoid damage from a large regional disaster, like an earthquake.
- On-site and off-site copies of all hard documents. Consider scanning / digitizing hard records.
- Disaster proof work spaces and essential equipment. Secure or remove heavy or sharp items from top shelves.
- Bolt and brace water heater, which can often topple over and ignite fire.
- Beware windows or framed artwork-glass will shatter and spray in a quake.
- Establish a plan for communicating within your facility. Consider short-wave radios.
- Establish an external communication plan for your facility.
- Know where utility shut offs are located and how to use them.
- Maintain an inventory of equipment used in your business. Keep records of maintenance schedules and service / warranty information.
- Conduct regular drills, especially for fires and earthquakes.
- Keep office stocked with emergency supplies: water / food, radio, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlights & batteries, waterproof plastic bags, cleaning agents, portable generator, camera, etc.
- Find out what your suppliers plans are to service your needs after a disaster.
- Create a list of alternate suppliers.
- Talk to your competitors about sharing resources.
Ensure Service Delivery
- Plan for an alternate worksite if your facility is damaged or inaccessible.
- How will you communicate with customers to explain alternate ways to reach you?
- Ensure customer records are backed up and accessible.
- Consider other ways to deliver your services or products, e.g. mutual aid agreements with other organizations and or vendors.
Check Insurance Policies
- Evaluate insurance coverage annually. Do you know what to expect when you file a claim? Consider a policy that will reimburse for business disruptions in addition to physical loss.
- Become familiar with disaster business resources from FEMA and the Small Business Administration www.sba.gov