If you’re in the construction industry, you’re used to following a specific set of rules. Whether you’re the roofer who knows how to install shingles or the company owner who delegates responsibilities, things are best when a set plan is followed. Unfortunately, a disaster can wreak havoc on your plans, and you might not even see it coming.
For construction owners and workers, disasters from heavy hail and tornadoes to structure fires and earthquakes can seriously interfere with company operations. Fortunately, this disaster preparedness checklist can help ensure your company’s survival.
Disaster Preparedness Checklist
Keep Open Lines of Communication: During a disaster, it’s essential to know who’s in charge. Primary decision makers should appoint a second-in-command in case they’re unreachable. Alternative options for communication, perhaps using cell phones or an emergency messaging system, should also be considered.
Designate a Secondary Gathering Location: It’s important to have a backup location where people can gather if the company’s physical location is deemed unsafe. Here, you can take roll and make sure everyone on the team is accounted for.
Identify your Most Critical Operations: Plan for work outages in advance. Identify your most critical operations, and create plans to get them back up and running to experience as little downtime as possible.
Test the Plan: Test your emergency preparedness plan at least once a year. This should include ensuring everyone knows their role during an emergency, as well as the testing of all critical systems. Additionally, you can sign up for the Red Cross Ready Rating Program, a free service that helps businesses and other organizations prepare for disasters.
Disaster Response Kit
Business owners should have a disaster preparedness kit on-site, and employees would be smart to have one at home as well. Every kit should include the following:
- Food: Three days worth of non-perishable food
- Water: Three days worth of water – 1 gallon per day, per person
- Health supplies: First aid kit, dust masks and moist towelettes
- Critical tools: Pliers or wrench, whistle, flashlight and batteries
- Other supplies: Local maps, can opener, garbage bags, NOAA Weather Radio and emergency radio
These are general guidelines and only cover the most essential items. Also consider including a fire extinguisher, cash and chlorine bleach (16 drops can disinfect a gallon of water for drinking).
Always Be Ready
There’s no such thing as being too prepared for emergencies. If a disaster does strike and you’re not ready, it could be time to shudder the company doors. Don’t let that happen — keep your disaster preparedness checklist handy and up-to-date.