It may not seem like it but the United States is home to some of the most extreme weather and worst kinds of disasters on the planet. As a consequence, there are a number of emergencies that can strike and hurt your business. Problems can come in the form of fires, floods, power outages, robberies, bad storms, and even tornadoes. Many restaurants think that the best thing they can do is work with a good fire alarm services company that handles fire alarm installations and fire alarm repairs but that is not enough to keep your business running after a disaster.
Having a plan for what to do during and after a crisis is key to getting through it. Having the fire alarm installation work done is a very good first step is a great place to start but it is just that, a place to start. Most businesses never get to the plan development stage, though many do see this as an important thing to do. In polls, only 35% of United States businesses have a plan to evacuate staff, clients, and customers in the event of a fire.
Any good emergency preparedness plan needs to have four parts. These are the preparedness, mitigation, recovery, and response phases. To make the most of your plan, it is best to put it in writing. This way, all of your staff will be able to view it and refer back to it as they need to. For many businesses, the main problem is getting back to day-to-day work after an emergency. The downtime they suffer makes any problems worse.
Start by looking at where your business is in terms of emergency preparation work. Look at where you may be vulnerable. For example, if you do not have fire alarm systems, you will have to work to get a fire alarm installation done. Another thing to think about is what external issues you are most likely to face. If you are located in an area that sees a lot of tropical storms, you know that you have to make sure the glass on your building has been built to survive the winds that accompany those.
Once you know what your vulnerabilities are, you can plan to prevent them from occurring at all. If you cannot prevent them, you can at least make a plan to lessen the amount of damage that is caused when a disaster strikes. In addition to having the fire alarm installation done, getting the right kinds of insurance is a great steop towards protecting your business from crises.
Next, you need to get yourself and your staff prepared for action. The more prepared you and your employees are to handle a crisis, the better you and they will be able to manage should something really bad happen. In addition to writing up a plan to deal with emergencies, you need to make sure your staff both read and understand what they will need to do. This also means having practice drills to make sure everyone is on the same page. Assumptions will do you no favors in this area.
Take time when you are working out your emergency plan. There are a lot of moving parts in any emergency plan and you need to make sure you have them covered. Here are some things you need to consider:
- Have an evacuation plan. This is more than just the route that your staff will take and that they will lead your customers or clients through. You also need to know whom to call and have a place to meet up.
- Make up an emergency contact phone list. When crisis strikes, you may not be at your business. Having a list of important phone numbers ready and available to all the people who work for you will make reaching out easier.
- Set roles. The last thing your staff needs is to be confused about who will do what during a crisis. Giving people set roles before a crisis will make it easier.
Proper planning before a crisis will help your workers make it through one and save your business in the process.