Reading the news on any given day can create fear of the next big thing for us to be concerned about. Terrorist attacks, virus spread, natural disasters, workplace violence, and more can all be unsettling. While there is no possible way to plan for everything, having an emergency plan in place, and the ability to be agile and adjust, are very important.
The better documented and managed your current processes are, the easier it will be to make adjustments in order to keep things moving as seamlessly as possible.
When an emergency hits, your physical office could be shut down, supplies could be limited, income could slow or boom, demand could become higher than you can keep up with, and communication needs are heightened. A business crisis plan lays out actions to take in case of such an emergency.
How to Create an Emergency Plan
First, start by documenting processes. What are you currently doing and who is doing it? What is required for each worker to do their job? What supplies or equipment is needed? Identify your mission critical tasks and what is required for them to function.
Second, take note of your risks. What part of your processes are at risk? For example, do all supplies come from one chain? Consider what natural or man-made disasters the company may face. For example, if tornadoes are more prevalent in your area than a tsunami, you may want to make a plan for that and not others. Start with the highest risk first.
Third, create an emergency management plan. Create a plan for chain-of-command and expedited decision-making. Create a communication tree so information can be quickly spread to those who need it most.
Fourth, build your emergency plan. Decide who needs to be part of building your emergency plan and meet to do so. Consider supplies needed for both evacuation and taking shelter. Determine how to communicate the plan to employees, customers and vendors.
Document your plan and let people know how to access it. If relevant, keep disaster sheets in appropriate areas for quick access, such as near specific equipment or safety areas. Some organizations keep emergency supplies in specific places throughout the building. Be sure these are marked and accessible.
Finally, practice and reassess. Once your plan is in place, consider practicing it to work out any bugs and find any gaps in protocol. Plan for times to re-evaluate the emergency plan to update it for changes in business processes or new threats or risks.
Uncertain times will ebb and flow, so having an emergency action plan in place will help you move forward during these times with more ease. It all starts with identifying your needs and documenting your processes, which is exactly what I have expertise in. Schedule today to begin a conversation about your emergency plan.