September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, serving as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and play.
Having a plan in place will protect and prepare your staff, lessen the financial burdens after the emergency hits, and will support economic recovery when your business is back up and running after a disaster. Here’s what you need to do . . .
First, you must know what emergencies and hazards can arise. Things like hurricanes, winter weather, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, cyber security, and workplace hazards. Learn about each one and which ones are most likely to affect your business.
Secondly, take action! Practice emergency response or drills, plan with your business neighbors and partners, participate in classes and trainings, have a policy document in place for your employees, and update your in-house emergency supplies.
Lastly, gather your resources. The US Small Business Administration recognizes the need for emergency preparedness and provides small businesses with the resources needed. Another great resource is Ready.gov, a national public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and manmade disasters. The goal of the Ready campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. America's PrepareAthon, a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience, is another good resource.
Join with others around the country to practice your preparedness. Don't wait until after the disaster happens, make your emergency plan today! To find out how other communities across the US are preparing, visit FEMA news.