Businesses large and small face emergencies every year. Those that come through relatively unscathed are the ones that gave some thought to emergency planning and business continuity before they needed it! It doesn’t have to be complicated but pre-thinking the possibilities will help support a strong response and a quick recovery in the event something happens.
Building resilience into your business makes good business sense; here are a few key activities you can exercise in advance of an emergency that will help you ride it out.
Know The Risks
First, it’s good to know the risks – which emergencies or disasters have your community faced in the past? Are you in an area that is earthquake prone? Has a high incidence of tornadoes? Hurricanes? Are you located near heavily wooded areas subject to forest fires? Are you situated on a floodplain? Knowing how you are most likely to be affected will help you in planning for the possibilities.
Of course, those situated in Lac-Mégantic, QC and High River, AB may have been aware of the risk their location presented, but no amount of planning would have prevented the level of devastation they faced in 2013. There is value, therefore, in taking an all-hazards approach to your planning. Regardless of the cause, you can plan for the effect: evacuation, sheltering in place, loss of power, loss of facility, loss of staff… Preparing for each of these situations will serve most retailers in most circumstances.
However you tackle it, you’ll want to plan for both the response to the emergency and the need to continue doing business.