Business Recovery Directory Business - Hurricane.docx
Plan to Stay in Business
How quickly your company is back in business following a disaster will depend on emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters, the occasional utility and technology outages, and the potential for terrorism demonstrate the importance of being prepared for many different types of emergencies. While recognizing that each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if it plans carefully, puts emergency procedures in place, and practices for the kinds of emergencies it could face.
Business Continuity Planning
- Bring together co-workers from all levels of your organization as a planning team. Consider the different types of disasters that could impact your company and the likelihood that they might occur. The risks faced by your organization will vary according to the size, location, and nature of your operations. Start by reviewing your business processes and identify operations critical to survival of your company.
- Plan what you will do if your building is not accessible.
- Make a list of your customers and plan on ways to serve them during and after a disaster. Also, identify key suppliers, shippers, contractors, other resources that you interact with on a regular basis.
- Detail how your organization will communicate with employees, local authorities, suppliers, customers, the news media, and others during and after a disaster.
Business Recovery Directory
- Manatee County business owners may now sign up for the Business Recovery Directory, a free emergency information exchange network. Manatee County Economic Development Program Manager Karen Stewart said the information businesses provide will help emergency managers in the event of an emergency. By signing up for the Business Recovery Directory, businesses can have their products or services considered for purchase during recovery operations, thus keeping federal recovery dollars local.
- “We encourage all businesses large and small to log in and list information in the Business Recovery Directory,” Stewart says. “If there’s ever a natural disaster, this information will be vital to emergency managers to quickly prop up the business community and keep our workforce employed.”
Protect Your Employees and Your Facilities
- Provide emergency planning information to employees so they know what to do if there is an emergency. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee emails, and on bulletin boards. Promote family disaster planning. Tools for developing a family disaster and communications plan can be found at
- Ask employees to provide emergency contact information so you can reach them after a disaster.
- Make an Evacuation Plan: Some emergencies will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers, and visitors quickly can save lives.
- Make sure there is a warning system that everyone can hear and two ways out of every part of the building. Identify a location where everyone can gather outside the building to identify any missing persons.
- Make a Shelter-in-Place Plan: There may be situations when it’s best to shelter inside the building when there is a hazard outside. Sheltering in place requires shutdown of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and the closure of air intakes
- Make a Lockdown Plan: In situations where an individual has gained access to a building with intent to harm employees, a lockdown warning should be broadcast and authorities notified. Employees should be instructed to immediately hide and remain silent until help arrives.
- Emergency Supplies: When preparing for emergencies, identify the supplies that you need to have on hand. Go to
- https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for a recommended list of emergency supplies. Reach out to local emergency management officials who can assist you and help address your needs along with the rest of your community.
Protect Your Investment
- Review Insurance Coverage: Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to a major financial loss if your business is damaged, or operations are interrupted for a period of time.
- Secure and Protect Your Buildings: There are many things you can do in advance to help protect your physical assets. Install smoke alarms, fire detectors, and fire sprinklers to enhance fire safety. Evaluate physical security to ensure the perimeter of the building is secure. Secure valuable equipment, materials, computer rooms, and building utility systems to prevent unauthorized access. Document the locations and operation of building systems, and train staff so they know how to shut down systems or implement shelter-in-place.
- Improve Cyber Security: Protecting your electronic data and information technology systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Protect networked computers with firewalls, install anti-virus software, and keep it up-to-date. Instruct employees not to open email from unknown sources. Enforce the use of strong passwords and require them to be changed periodically. Back up your computer data off-site. Subscribe to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Alert System,https://www.us-cert.gov/, to receive free, timely alerts.
Test, Practice and Improve!
- Practice the Plan with Co-workers: Frequently practice what you intend to do during a disaster. Conduct regularly scheduled education and training sessions to provide co-workers with information, identify needs and develop preparedness skills. Include disaster training in new employee orientation programs. Practice emergency procedures, such as evacuation drills, with all employees.
- Ongoing Training for Business
- The Manatee county provides training to help business and families plan and recover from unforeseen events. You can take this course as a test to see how well you are prepared.
- The Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) advises of events and training opportunities throughout the state. The Training and Events Schedule is frequently updated so it is recommended that you check the site weekly.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers on-line and other courses in disaster preparedness and recovery. FEMA's Institute for Emergency Management (EMI) offers free training in disaster preparedness and recovery. See the following links for more detail.