In August 2011, Hurricane Irene caused widespread power outages and flooding in New England. Thousands of homes and businesses were without power. Some areas were without power for several days following the storm. This summer, millions of businesses were affected by Hurricane Isaac. Business interruptions like these can cause companies to lose productivity and profits. Having a Business Continuity Plan in place can help.
A Business Continuity Plan is used to detail how a business will continue if a disaster or emergency occurs. The plan can help provide quick recovery from business interruptions.
One of the first steps that businesses can take to ensure that they are prepared for an emergency is to update existing emergency plans. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that companies have a written emergency action plan and fire prevention plan. Since September is National Preparedness Month, this is a good time to review these plans.
Is your emergency contact list up-to-date? Take the time to ensure that there is a list of every employee that includes their office, home, and cell phone numbers. Employers should develop a procedure for communicating with employees in the event of a disaster. Also, include critical supplier and customer contact information in your plan.
Organizations can visit http://readyrating.org/ and complete an online self-assessment of their preparedness. There is also free information and tools available to help with your preparedness at http://www.ready.gov/business
For more information on emergency preparedness, contact Colleen Walsh at 508.970.0033 ext. 129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.