Darryl Madden, director of FEMA’s Ready Business campaign, (www.ready.gov/business), helps organizations develop emergency preparedness programs. Among the readiness steps that Madden encourages are:
- Practice in pieces. It’s essential to practice an emergency plan, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Exercise elements of the plan one, or a few, at a time.
- Coordinate with building owners. If you don’t own the building, be sure to coordinate with the owner or operator to gauge how your plans align with theirs. Get information about things like backup generators and shelter-in-place plans.
- Consider using social networks as part of your communications plan.
- Download the free FEMA readiness app at http://apps.usa.gov/.
- Cross-train employees. In an emergency it may be necessary for workers to do someone else’s job. When people are cross-trained, it’s likely that the organization can better absorb the impact and minimize the time between response and recovery.
- Assess preparedness. FEMA has partnered with the American Red Cross to develop the Ready Rating Program. It’s a 71-question assessment that helps identify your level or readiness and gaps that need to be addressed. The no-cost assessment tool is available at www.readyrating.org.
- Encourage family plans. If families are well prepared, they can stay safer. That also means employees will be more available to help in the workplace getting the business back up and running.