June is National Safety Month, and what better time to make sure your business is prepared for an emergency. Even if you aren’t concerned about an imminent threat, you must have a plan in case the worst happens. Emergencies come in different shapes and sizes, and in most cases, it’s not a matter of if but when. Here’s how your business can prepare for an emergency.
Know your threat
Because disasters can come in several forms, it’s important to identify the threats specific to your business, as well as others that can hurt any company. For example, an economic downturn can have disastrous effects on businesses without a plan or savings to cover the potentially lower revenue periods.
On the other hand, natural disasters vary in their type based on region, which means you need to know what could potentially happen to your physical business and how to best prepare, including safety and insurance measures. If you’re unsure of what to do, check out this disaster tip sheet to help you make a specific plan.
Have a plan
When you know what you want to protect from, it’s time to write the plan down, so when it happens, you’re ready. A loosely formulated idea in your head won’t help anyone when the panic sets in, and your reality is an emergency without guidance.
If you aren’t convinced it’s a big deal, think about this – the Institute for Business and Home Safety calculated that approximately 25% of businesses never reopen after disaster strikes. Nearly a quarter of all businesses affected by a disaster go under, and you don’t want to be one of them.
While a large-scale disaster will bring its own forms of aid, it’s important to know your options now so you can swiftly put them into play should the worst happen. Do your research on loans for businesses that go through disasters as well as assistance for your employees. There are a number of options available to you, and the time to identify them is before your emergency. A list of loans and assistance programs can be included in your plan.
Clean up carefully
A natural disaster can cause months to years of clean-up and recovery, depending on the specific conditions. One of the reasons is to make sure the clean-up is done safely without putting workers at risk. Make sure; if you end up in this situation, you’re dedicated to doing it right, not fast. Failing to go slow and follow procedure can cause a number of issues, including unseen toxins and molds, that cause more problems down the line.
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