September is National Preparedness Month, promoted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security. FEMA created National Preparedness Month to encourage Americans to plan for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.
Emergencies include events such as cyberattacks, human error, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, power outages, equipment failure, active shooter events, and widespread illness. If businesses do not prepare for disasters, they risk service interruption, employee downtime, lost customers, asset damage, and out-of-pocket expenses.
How should your organization prepare for an emergency?
FEMA recommends businesses focus on several key areas when they prepare for an emergency:
- Educate Yourself: Think about the types of emergencies that affect your company. Then, run a risk assessment to determine the company’s readiness for those disasters. Also, perform a business impact analysis to find out the operational and financial impacts of a disaster.
- Develop a Business Continuity Plan: Create an alternate plan for running your critical business functions. This includes sales, billing, customer support, and employee operations. For instance, you can assign decision-making roles in case key members of your management team are absent. Also, the plan can include temporary office space and equipment for employees. Moreover, you can keep contact lists of service providers and customer contacts on hand if there are any interruptions to service delivery.
- Prepare your emergency plan: Your staff can practice the plan by conducting periodic emergency drills. For an earthquake drill, employees can practice going under a desk, then perform the drop, cover, and hold-on movement. Afterward, they should go to a designated emergency exit and meeting area. Also, review and revise the plan as needed.
- Review insurance coverage: Examine your current insurance plan. Check if it covers dangers that can happen in your region, such as wildfires and earthquakes in Southern California. Otherwise, consider supplemental insurance for these events.
- Secure Your Facility and Equipment: Repair your office building for any weaknesses that cause property damage, injury, and death in case of a disaster. Also, attach bookshelves, desks, cabinets, computers, and lamps to a stable surface. Likewise, move heavy items on lower shelves and clear boxes away from exits. Finally, store critical paper documents in a fire and waterproof container.
- Improve cybersecurity: Keep up with IT security best practices. Update operating systems and applications regularly. Also, use a network and computer firewall, scan devices’ antivirus software, and back up your files to the cloud.
- Promote Family and Individual Preparedness: Encourage employees to have an emergency kit and family communication plan.
SwiftTech Solutions can prepare your technology services for an emergency with our business continuity services, which include a Business Impact Analysis, Disaster Recovery Plan, Business Resumption Plan, Business Recovery Plan, and Contingency Plan.