With the wildest weather buffeting the east coast and record rainfall and weather unlike anything witnessed since the 60’s and 70’s, it brings to the fore that it may be a good time to consider if your office has an action plan in place for emergencies such as storms, floods and fires.
Most offices may not plan for the worst until it is too late and it is essential to be prepared and have an action plan in place for when an adverse event may occur.
Some steps that you may take in preparing your action plan:
- Complete a risk management assessment table with your risks, impact to your business, mitigation strategies and contingency plans.
- Identify any areas in your business that you cannot operate without should something happen.
- Complete an emergency management and recovery plan and communicate that plan to all staff so that they are aware of the procedure.
- Include in any plans a list of emergency contacts such as trades, state emergency services, police, fire and ambulance. This list is also handy to provide to tenants who won’t always know what to do when it comes to these matters.
- Develop an evacuation plan and ensure you have covered any additional procedures required under likely emergency scenarios.
- Prepare an emergency kit and include items such as key documents, phone numbers, torches, first aid kits, portable radios, plastic bags, spare batteries and water. Place these in a prominent location and ensure that staff are well informed.
- Appoint an emergency action team, rehearse your action plan and most importantly, keep your plan up to date.
- Check that your insurance covers for risks associate with your business.
- Store all important documents in a secure location and ensure that you have regular backups of your digital data and secure offsite storage for those backups.
- Research the virtual office services that could be useful in an emergency (such as a telephone answering service, mail forwarding, or a remote secretarial service).
Above all, when it comes to any kind of emergency situation, stay safe, don’t put yourself at risk and leave what you can up to the emergency services who are well trained in dealing with these matters.