Business Preparedness: Getting Started
How quickly your company can get back to business after a terrorist attack or hurricane, a fire or flood or pandemic flu depends on emergency planning you do today.
Maine’s businesses form the backbone of the state’s economy; small businesses alone account for a majority of the economy. If businesses are prepared to survive and recover, the State and our economy are more secure.
As a business owner, ask yourself the following questions:
- What could happen to us?
- Am I prepared to relocate temporarily?
- What would happen if my suppliers shut down?
- Do my employees know what to do in case of an emergency?
- How can I help my community recover more quickly?
A commitment to preparing today will help support employees, customers, the community, the local economy and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.
Get started with emergency planning for your business:
- Learn what kinds of emergencies might affect your company both internally and externally. Find out which disasters are possible and most common in the areas where you operate. You may be aware of some of your community's risks; others may surprise you.
- Think about how a disaster would affect your suppliers and customers. A disaster somewhere else can effect your business if you can't get supplies, or can't ship your products.
- Meet with your insurance agent. Do you need flood insurance at your location? Normal business insurance does not cover flooding. Should business interruption insurance be a consideration?
- Develop internal safety plans; evacuation, fire prevention, etc. Appoint a safety coordinator who will check fire extinguishers and arrange for practice and drills
- Protect and back up your vital records, both the paper ones and electronic data
- Make emergency preparedness a priority with you and your employees and your families. If you and your employees know that your families are safe, you can focus on getting the business back on its feet. Materials available from this Maine Prepares site can help you get started.
- Make a communications plan. How will you communicate with your employees, customers and suppliers, especially if you are closed down for a while?
- Make a plan for recovery, for getting back in business. Depending on your type of business, this could be an alternate location, emergency power, or other solutions.
- Invest in improvements that will make your buildings and equipment less likely to be damaged.
For More Information
- Institute for Business and Home Safety: Open for Business
- Small Business Administration: Disaster Planning
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: Ready Business