Disasters happen all the time and can cost you everything if you’re not prepared. It’s true that sometimes you never know when or what will arise, but to ensure the best outcome, emergency preparedness can go a long way. One of the first things you should do when you start your business is develop an emergency plan. You’ll need to take a look at the biggest risks to your business depending on geographical location and the industry you’re in. There are checklists provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, that can help. Having a thorough emergency plan and properly training your employees will not only help to keep you safe, it will also protect you from unexpected and costly repairs. Preparing your business for the worst case scenario is an integral part of any well rounded business plan.
What Constitutes An Emergency?
An emergency can be natural or manmade, foreseen or sudden. These emergencies can cause harm to your customers, employees and your business establishment. Where you are located and what type of business you have are determining factors on what kind of emergencies you should be prepared for. In Florida and the southeast there is a high risk for hurricanes and flooding. These kind of emergencies have quite a bit of warning but you should be prepared ahead of time to ensure you will have all of the supplies you need. Out in California during the dry season wild fires are known to run rampant and they do not have much warning. In the Midwest there are certain times of the year where tornados are a risk and there is little to no warning. When it comes to industries, the restaurant business is at a much higher risk, things like kitchen fires can happen very suddenly and get quickly out of control. You will want to be sure you have the tools on hand to get the situation under control fast. This will ensure the least amount of damage and harm to staff and customers.
What To Train Your Employees For
Training your employees to handle themselves and their responsibilities in an emergency can help limit the amount of chaos during a crisis. For emergencies that happen while employees are present, having a plan for individual responsibilities is key to make sure all bases are covered. When an emergency happens during non-business hours, you should have clear guidelines that explain how employees will be notified.
What Should Your Emergency Plan Include
There are many aspects of an emergency plan and you’ll want to ensure you don’t leave anything out. The first thing you’ll need to include is a recommended method for reporting emergencies. The next step would to be to develop an evacuation policy and procedure. You’ll want to have a detailed evacuation plan that includes floor plans that map out specific evacuation routes for each location. You’ll need a detailed list of emergency numbers including the police and fire department, ambulance, and poison control. You need to develop procedures for shutting down equipment and operations in the event of an emergency. Outlining the different roles your employees will have in an emergency situation and a place for everyone to meet should also be included in your plant. Aside from employee safety, you’ll also want to have a secure offsite location to house important documents and paperwork. Alarms and communication systems will also need to be in place to alert workers of an emergency. An auxiliary power supply may be a good idea as well in case you lose electricity. Your evacuation plan should include a list of when evacuation will be necessary, a clear chain of command, routes and exists and a procedure of assisting those with disabilities. You’ll also want a system to take a head count following an evacuation.
Funding Your Safety
There’s no way to know if and when an emergency will occur. Having a reliable source of cash flow to purchase emergency equipment and help you get back up and running after an emergency event can greatly impact your business. For this and other small business solutions, consider a merchant cash advance from Quikstone Capital Solutions.