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Emergency Mgmt Mt St Helens eruption May 18, 1980

Preparedness Planning for Your Business

Photo: Downtown Kansas City, May 25 2011 - Late May Tornado Outbreak

How quickly your company can get back to business after a fire, flood, a pandemic flu or other emergency often depends on emergency planning done today.

Business continuity and crisis management can be complex issues depending on the particular industry, size and scope of your business. However, putting a plan in motion will improve the likelihood that your company will survive and recover.

The five steps in developing a preparedness program are:

Program Management

  • Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
  • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program

Planning

  • Gather information about hazards and assess risks
  • Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
  • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks

Implementation - Write a preparedness plan addressing:

  • Resource management
  • Emergency response
  • Crisis communications
  • Business continuity
  • Information technology
  • Employee assistance
  • Incident management
  • Training

Testing and Exercises

  • Test and evaluate your plan
  • Define different types of exercises
  • Learn how to conduct exercises
  • Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan

Program Improvement

  • Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
  • Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
  • Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements