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Major Disruptions Can Happen at Any Time

How you plan will determine if you will stay open for business.

Major disruptions can happen at any time and how you plan will determine if you will stay open for business or not.  Major disruptions are unpredictable by nature.  Whether it is a tornado, hurricane, fire, or a global pandemic, you need to have a business continuity plan in place so you can get through these unpredictable and trying times.  You might be surprised to know that according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year.

Here are some planning tips and questions to ask, along with helpful links.

Where is everybody?

You may want to identify alternative, prioritized gathering place(s) to meet after a disaster. Similarly, you may want to develop multiple, alternate, prioritized contact arrangements to follow if they are unable to reach their assigned location given the likelihood of simultaneous communications disruptions.

What alternate transportation methods could be considered?

You may want arrange alternate transportation methods, e.g., carpools, and bus services. 

What about my family?

Employees’ foremost priority will be the safety and welfare of themselves and their families. 

Is everyone okay?

Your employees may feel considerable stress after a disaster for an extended time.

What basic necessities will people need?

Ensure you have enough supplies and services such as: food, drinking water, and safe lodging. Additionally, vital supplies such as medicine, clothing, as well as child care services, especially if schools are closed, may be needed.

How do we obtain more supplies?

You may want to contract to have supplies delivered as existing stocks were depleted.

If our facilities are not safe, what alternate facilities could we use?

Facilities should be safe prior to allowing personnel to re-enter the premises. A professional inspection may be necessary or advisable as some types of structural problems are difficult to detect. An inspection of your buildings may determine that the damage to these premises is so severe that it is not safe to enter those locations.

What can regulatory agencies do to assist us?

You may want to maintain a list of regulatory points of contact and references. Here is a list of some important websites that you may want to access:

https://www.redcross.org/get-help.html

https://www.ready.gov/

https://www.pema.pa.gov/Preparedness/Planning/Pages/default.aspx

http://ready.nj.gov/index.shtml

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