Preparing for Natural Disasters
Natural disaster is an accepted and very real risk for every contracting business. No matter where you are, there’s a risk of some sort of nature-related catastrophe whether it’s a fire, earthquake, hurricane or tornado. It is vital as a contractor that you have a solid plan of action in place to deal with these problems when they occur so that you are protected and your liability reduced. Read about how you can tell if your company is prepared for natural disasters, and what you can do if you need to improve your preparation.
Did you know that approximately a third of all businesses affected by a natural disaster never recover and end up having to close down? Building a preparedness plan for these events can not only protect you from the serious financial losses a disaster can bring upon you, it can set you up to recover when the unthinkable happens.
Know the Dangers
Every region has its own risk of natural catastrophe. It is important to understand the risks you may be facing in order for you to create a proper plan (or plans) of action. Your preparedness will be different for a fire than it will be for severe rain storms, tsunamis or earthquakes. Contact your city’s emergency management office for information on the kinds of disasters for which you should prepare, and do a lot of research on any and all of them.
Create Your Response Plan
Once you understand the dangers you may face, sit down and work out a detailed plan of action and checklist for disaster response. This plan should include the following elements:
- Vulnerabilities on the job site and individual departments
- Ways to mitigate the vulnerability risks
- Evacuation plans
- Contact lists
- Designated meeting places for staff away from the job site
- A method to relay information about the plan both to staff and the public at large
- Procedures for taking charge in these situations
- Methods to prepare the property to resist the disaster and protect it when it happens
- Ways to assist with evacuation procedures
- Methods for assessing and cataloging losses
- A means by which you can aid in recovery efforts
- Continual and regular drills and education workshops to make these procedures second nature.
- Backups of all important documents and information
- Protect against power loss and electrocution issues
Communication is Key
The better your communication is, the more effective your plan will be. It is absolutely vital to communicate your preparedness plan to your staff and the public. Conduct regular informational meetings, staff meetings, trainings and drills just as you would with any sort of safety training.