How Businesses Can Prepare
COULD YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WITHSTAND A DISASTER?
The sad fact is that most businesses can't. Recent North American studies reveal that 43% of businesses that experience a disaster never re-open and that another 29% close within two years.
Fortunately, most small businesses in Maple Ridge will never experience a major disaster. However, even though the likelihood of a cataclysmic event such as an earthquake or flood may seem remote, these events can and do occur. Every year, BC experiences hundreds of small earthquakes; a massive flood in 2013 caused over $6 billion in damages to Calgary and 30 surrounding communities; a train derailment and explosion in 2013 devastated the town of Lac Megantic in Quebec. These events, while rare, can devastate communities, their residents and businesses.
Much more common are smaller disaster such as fires, water damage from burst pipes, and technology and communications failures. These events can result in businesses being forced to suspend operations for days, weeks or even months. The irony is that what makes small businesses successful - fewer employees, lean production and inventory systems, tight cash flow management - often makes them the least able to withstand these events.
Fortunately, a small investment of your time in business continuity planning can help your business survive.
7 STEPS FOR PLANNING YOUR EMERGENCY AND DISASTER PLAN
Step 1) Establish an Emergency Preparedness team
Step 2) Identify Essential Services/Functions
Step 3) Identify Risks and Assess Impacts
Step 4) Make a Plan
Step 5) Educate Employees
Step 6) Exercise Your Plan
Step 7) Recovery & Restoration
PREPARE AT WORK RECIPE CARDS
Download this simple Recipe Card (PDF) for an easy to use and readily available card for your
emergency preparedness at work.
DEVELOP A BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN
Will you be ready when an emergency strikes? Remember that you may not have power, Internet access or access to your business. It's critically important to develop Business Continuity manuals for all of your key staff and store copies of these off-site. There are numerous free resources available to help you get started in developing your Business Continuity manuals; Business Development Canada publishes an excellent template that will guide you through the process of developing your strategy and manual. (Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs)
Justice Institute of BC offers an Intro to Business Continuity course on-line. Explore the purpose and benefits of business continuity management including the steps involved in developing a business continuity plan. In addition,
you will learn the importance of communicating and exercising a business continuity plan.