An Integral Part of Your Overall Business Plan
A comprehensive emergency management program is a necessary part of any business, and Forest Park Insurance Services wants all businesses in Washington to be prepared. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), having a plan can help to limit employee or customer injuries, damages to property and help your business return more quickly to normal operations. FEMA makes a strong argument for emergency management planning by defining what constitutes an emergency and identifying the benefits to business.
FEMA’s description of their “Emergency Management Guide for Business & Industry” characterizes it as ideal for any business or “…organization where a sizable number of people work or gather.” But, they are quick to point out that even small businesses can benefit from the ideas in this guide. The guide is extensive, so we’re going to give you an overview and we encourage you to access the full guide on the FEMA website for complete details.
The Planning Process
The success of your plan hinges on having leadership, or upper management support in order to get full participation. There are four primary steps involved: establishing a team, identifying capabilities and hazards, developing a plan then implementing.
While you’re going through this process, be sure to conduct an insurance review. Forest Park Insurance Services will be happy to clear up any doubts or questions you have about your business insurance coverage.
Emergency Management Considerations
This is the phase where different the functions of emergency management and response are defined. Who’s going to be in charge of direction and control, communications, property protection, or safety? How will you work together or with outside agencies?
Identifying Potential Hazards
Hazards come in many forms – fire, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods. Do you have any hazardous materials at your business? If so, proper containment and safety measures are needed before an emergency and you need to know who to call should those materials pose a danger during an emergency.
Gather Important Information
FEMA offers additional resources focusing disaster mitigation, flood-proofing, and building performance – all available for free. They also offer brochures for work or home, and directories of regional and state emergency management offices.
Start your emergency planning now by utilizing FEMA’s “Emergency Management Guide for Business & Industry.” And, by all means, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about your insurance coverage.
Source: Federal Emergency Management Association, Department of Homeland Security (www.fema.gov/business/guide)