business emergency

How to Prepare Your Business for Emergencies | SMB Compass

Ezra Cabrera | August 17, 2021


    Key Takeaways

    • Emergencies can happen any time. As a business owner, it’s important to prepare for the unexpected to protect your business from devastating effects.
    • Choosing the appropriate insurance, creating an evacuation plan, training your employees, investing in a generator, keeping a physical copy of important documents, identifying hazards in the workplace, backing up your data, and preparing an emergency kit are some of the ways you can prepare your business.
    • Taking the time to create a business emergency plan positions your business in the best place to survive.

    Emergencies can occur at any time, and for small businesses, the effects can be devastating. Alongside major losses, it can be hard to rebuild your customer base and start all over again.

    As a business owner, it’s important to prepare for emergencies that could strike without warning.

    In this article, we’ll give you eight tips to keep in mind when preparing your business for an emergency.

    Choose the Appropriate Insurance

    Insurance can help your company get back on its feet when things go downhill. You can insure your business against natural disasters and business disruptions. For example, business interruption insurance will help you avoid significant financial loss if a catastrophic event does occur.

    Just make sure that you take the time to find the appropriate policy for you. You’ll need enough coverage to not only pay for building damages but the disruption to your business and any lost income.

    Create an Evacuation Plan

    All businesses need to have an evacuation plan so that employees are aware of what to do in an emergency. These should be displayed in every room and regularly updated throughout the year.

    Review your policy and make sure that everyone knows where the primary and secondary exits are. You also want to check that the areas are marked, easily accessible, and well-lit.

    Keep in mind that some emergencies will require a lock-down rather than an evacuation. You’ll need a policy and set of guidelines for these types of events too.

    Train Your Employees

    Organize emergency drills regularly and hold first-aid classes and survival training. This gives you a chance to observe your employees’ reactions and mentally prepare them if something does occur.

    It’s also wise to test other scenarios. For instance, an intruder, natural disaster, bomb threat, or chemical spill, depending on the industry you’re operating in.

    It’s also essential to appoint an “emergency person” just in case you are not on the premises. Whoever is in charge will need to know all of the necessary information, including the location of critical documents and passwords, to access different areas of the building. This should be a trusted individual who you know will handle the situation as calmly as possible.

    Invest in a Generator to Keep Your Business in Operation

    A simple black-out can cause significant losses in a business. Investing in a generator allows you to continue to operate smoothly. While a generator may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, you would be surprised at how frequently minor outages happen.

    Just make sure that you get it maintained regularly. An industrial generator repair service will ensure that everything is in working order. It is always better to be prepared. If you want to take another step, a high-tech security system and waterproof safe can help prevent a crisis further.

    Keep a Physical Copy of Emergency Contact Numbers

    While technology has helped us reduce our paper trails, one thing that you want to have a hard copy of is all of your emergency contact numbers. If the power does happen to go out, you’ll want to be able to reach everyone quickly. It can also be wise to keep an extra copy at a different site as well, just in case.

    This doesn’t just include the emergency numbers of your employees either. You’ll need to have the details of important clients and providers to inform them of the situation. It could be days before your digital servers get up and running again.

    Back Your Data

    Keep important data safe by using external hard drives and cloud-based storage. You’ll also want to have the latest virus protection and firewalls in place too because the last thing you want is a system breach.

    Identify Hazards in the Workplace and Eliminate Them

    Not every emergency can be prevented, but what you can do is stop them from getting unnecessarily worse. Is there a pile of files obstructing your exit? What about chemicals that aren’t stored correctly or cables that are a potential trip hazard?

    Regularly inspect your workplace, identify these hazards and remove them immediately. It will make the environment a safer place to work in, and if something unexpected occurs, everyone will be able to get out quickly.

    Prepare an Emergency Kit

    The last tip to follow when preparing your business for emergencies is to keep a kit in each area of your building and make sure they’re easily accessible. A standard emergency kit should include the following:

    • A first-aid kit
    • Portable radio
    • Torch or other light sources
    • Spare batteries
    • Map and an evacuation plan
    • Non-perishable food
    • Water

    What’s Next?

    By following the steps above, your company will be ready for any situation. Taking the time to create a business emergency plan positions your business in the best place to survive.

    About the Author

    Ezra Neiel Cabrera has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Entrepreneurial Marketing. Over the last 3 years, she has been writing business-centric articles to help small business owners grow and expand. Ezra mainly writes for SMB Compass, but you can find some of her work in All Business, Small Biz Daily, LaunchHouse, Marketing2Business, and Clutch, among others. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in bed eating cookies and binge-watching Netflix.