Helping your business prepare for natural disasters
Make sure you’re ready no matter what. We’ve gathered some useful resources to help your business prepare for storms, hurricanes, heat waves, wildfires, earthquakes, floods, or anything else that comes your way.
The first step is knowing your risks, so you can create an action plan most suited to your needs. Which disasters or health epidemics have impacted your business in the recent past? Are you located in an area prone to floods, earthquakes or wildfires? Check out the below risk assessment tools from Ready.gov.
Know your evacuation routes, designate a safe meeting point, and share with your employees ahead of time. Test and update your plan at least once a year. It helps to gather emergency supplies ahead of time, including food, water, and a first-aid kit. You can store supplies in different places, such as your home, office, and vehicle. You could also install fire extinguishers in strategic locations and conduct first-aid training with staff on how to use fire extinguishers, perform CPR, and more.
Gather financial, legal, and contact information, and ensure all documents are protected in soft and hard copy. You can mitigate property risks depending on the most likely disasters in your area. For instance, secure movable furniture and equipment, retrofit windows or doorways, install a backup generator, remove flammable materials, evaluate plumbing and piping, and more. Check out the below disaster checklists from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
We know that small businesses need to recover from disruptions fast. Building a business continuity plan can help you resume operations quickly in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. It is also important to have a crisis communication plan with up-to-date emergency contact lists for employees, vendors, and suppliers.
If a disaster strikes, having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to ensure the necessary financial resources to help you repair and rebuild. Become familiar with different types of business insurance and your coverage options. If you already have insurance, be sure to revisit it and adjust your coverage as needed.
In the event of an emergency, communicating quickly with customers, employees, and other stakeholders is critical. A Business Profile will ensure that you can be found on Google Search and Maps, and that potential customers have the latest information. Meanwhile, communication tools such as Google Meet and Gmail can help you resume operations quickly and successfully implement your business continuity plans.