Is Your Emergency Plan A Disaster?

A disaster can close your organization not just for a few days, but permanently: More than 40% of organizations close after a disaster, and more than 60% are closed within two years. Planning how your organization would deal with a flood, earthquake or other event is crucial, but the work shouldn’t stop there.

Ensure that those plans will work with these simple actions:

  • Check systems regularly. Shortly after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a dead battery was found in the controls for a device that was supposed to prevent a blowout. Set a schedule for checking the items on which your plans rely. Example: If you regularly back up computer files off site, has anyone verified recently that those backups are actually working and complete?
  • Update plans. How old is your phone list? If you had to reach a new employee outside the office, would you have that person’s number? Any time staff or operations change, revise your plan and make sure that everyone has the most recent version.
  • Practice with staff. When a fire alarm rings, does your staff react the way it should in an emergency? One fact about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that is often forgotten: Many people safely evacuated from the World Trade Center and Pentagon. While the specific event wasn’t expected, people had practiced evacuations and were prepared to react to an emergency.

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