We have all recently witnessed how devastating natural disasters can be--destroying lives, businesses and property in an instant. The challenges to a business owner in the face of a natural disaster can quickly become overwhelming. When mother nature strikes, your focus should be on protecting your people and property. Protecting your employees also means ensuring that your business—which is your employees’ livelihood-- recovers. Knowing what to do in a disaster and having an emergency plan in place can help keep you and your employees safe, and position your business for a successful recovery.
Here are just a few actions small and midsize business (SMB) leaders should take before, during and after a natural disaster. Keep in mind that these are just a few major steps we recommend. I have also included links in each section to more information that can help you prepare. Talk to your insurance representative, HR services provider and business attorney for more information and strategies on being prepared.
Before disaster strikes
Red Cross emergency preparedness checklist for businesses
When the disaster is imminent
During the disaster or emergency
The statistics on what percent of businesses recover after a disaster vary widely but planning and preparation can increase your odds of surviving the disaster. Using an all-hazards approach to emergency planning can make your business more resilient and therefore more competitive in the long-run. This FEMA study on Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Planning Patterns and Findings from Current Research offers the business case for disaster planning.
Know that time is critical. The longer your business is exposed to the elements and the longer it takes to harness resources, the greater the expense. Having a plan in place speeds recovery time.
There are several sources SMBs can look to for guidance on emergency preparedness. The Small Business Association has a series of checklists specific to different emergency types. Ready.gov offers guidance on emergency planning and recovery following the all-hazards approach of The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity. Additionally, Chubb offers concrete step-by-step guidance for preparing, responding and recovering from different natural disaster scenarios.
This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.
This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such websites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on TriNet.com does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.
The opinions and views expressed by guest authors of the TriNet blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of TriNet or any of its affiliates or partners.