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Emergency Preparedness Plans for Small Businesses

In Tips & Tools by Amber Forbes

Emergency preparedness plans for small businesses should be front and center in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and with hurricane season fast approaching. 

Natural disasters can flatten small businesses in a single swipe, and statistics show locally-owned shops need only be closed as little as five days before their doors are shuttered for good…especially if there is no emergency preparedness plan in place. 

But don’t be naive. Viruses, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes aren’t the only things that can bring a business down. 

Car accidents, deaths, injuries, and unforeseen familial issues can all cause hiccups in a small business so emergency preparedness plans are key to keeping things running smoothly in the event of an unexpected catastrophe. 

The 3 C’s to emergency preparedness plans for small businesses are the key to recovery: 

  1. Coordinate: Call a meeting with your most trusted team members, attorneys, and advisors and discuss all aspects of your emergency preparedness plan. Compile a list of important phone numbers, email addresses, passwords, and any other pertinent information and leave it with your attorney. Setup safeguards to protect the building, paperwork, property, supplies, and your employee’s well being in case of a natural disaster or your untimely death. Write down and coordinate each step of your plan, and have it notarized, if needed. 
  2. Committee: Delegate a disaster plan committee to ensure your small businesses’ emergency preparedness plan goes off without a hitch. Assign each member specific tasks, and make sure they each understand their responsibilities in case of an emergency. Also, be sure to replace a committee member’s chair ASAP if they are ever to leave the company. If it’s just you running your business, find a friend you trust who can run your checklist for you! 
  3. Communicate: Communicate your emergency plan to your employees, host regular training meetings, place your emergency preparedness plan in the employee handbook, and decide on a communication strategy for the public to prevent the loss of customers. How will you let your clients know what’s going on? Will you contact them by phone? Run ads socials? Put up signs? That’s important info to plan ahead! 

Check out FEMA’s website for more information, tools, and checklists for writing and implementing an emergency preparedness plan for your small business. 

How is your small business holding up through the pademic? Just know we’re here to help! We know times are tough, and we are totally here for you. Schedule a free consultation and let’s strategize your biz together. 

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