Severe weather conditions can be catastrophic, and businesses and individuals must be prepared to deal with these emergencies. Extreme weather events can include severe winds, rain, snowstorms, earthquakes, fires, lightning, floods, and wildfires. Many of these risks can be, and are, covered by insurance.
However, insurance addresses the post loss exposure, and rebuilding process. Pre-planning, like insurance, is essential to protecting your business, and that is where Murray Wamble can provide additional solutions for you.
Pre-planning for severe weather events can reduce many of the potential dangers and actually help you get back in business much sooner. Pre-planning can also save lives, and provides security for your employees.
One of the most important actions you can take in response to severe weather is to develop an Emergency Response Plan. The goal of any response plan is to maintain the safety of all individuals, preservation of property, and continuation of operations as soon as possible. Here are some of the major components of such a plan:
Team Members: You should start by establishing a committee made up of a cross section of your firm’s staff. It is important to have management support, as without it your plan will fail.
Contact Lists: Develop a list of important contacts including; police, fire, contractors, utilities, and Red Cross. You should also create a staff list with home phone numbers and emergency contact information.
Analysis of Threats: In this section of your plan, you will need to include an analysis of the various weather conditions that you might have to manage. Not all will apply to your specific firm. For example, flooding may not be an issue in your geographic area.
Prevention Activities: Once you have identified the severe weather conditions that might affect your firm, you will need to develop prevention activities. These activities might include; staff training, changes to your buildings (lighting, exits, etc), and purchases of equipment (flashlights, blankets, etc).
Evacuation Procedures: Your plan needs to have a well-designed evacuation procedure. Evacuation plans should include; identifying a common outside location for all staff to gather, record keeping, and staff accountability once everyone has exited the facility.
Communication: Communicating with employees, customers, and vendors is an important part of any severe weather plan. You should create communication templates (email or letters) or even event text messages that can be sent if there is an event that will close your operations.
Recovery Procedures: Once the event has ended you will want to have a plan in place to get back to normal operations as soon as possible. Insurance will be an important part of this. There are items you can plan for now to help the recovery go faster. Develop a list of pre-qualified contractors that can help you in recovery. Locate a temporary location in case that is needed; upgrade technology to allow certain employees to work remotely, and develop relationships with key vendors for needed products and services you may require.\
Media Contact & Procedures: It is a good idea to assign one person in the organization to act as media contact. This might be the CEO, HR manager or other manager. Chances are you won’t have any regular need for this, but the last thing you want is for the wrong message getting out to your clients, employees, and competition.
Having a well-designed severe weather Emergency Response Plan will allow your firm to recover faster and will provide security for employees.Contact Murray Wamblefor more information.