Get Your Business Ready
for Hurricane Season
hurricane season is here once again, it's never too late to start
putting together your business' continuity of operations plan in
place. A continuity of operations plan (COOP) is a set of a
management approved procedures and preparations to take place before,
during, and after an incident to ensure that an organization's
essential functions are maintained.
essential to develop a COOP, as the statistics of failing to prepare
for a natural or man made are staggering:
15 - 40 percent of businesses fail following a natural or manmade
94 percent of small business owners believe a disaster could
seriously disrupt their business within the next two years.
51 percent of Americans have experienced at least one emergency
situation where they lost utilities for at least three days, had to
evacuate and could not return home, could not communicate with
family members or had to provide first aid to others.
Only 2 in 10 Americans feel prepared for a catastrophic event.
Close to 60 percent of Americans are wholly unprepared for a
disaster of any kind.
statistics may be scary, but there is good news - there are many
resources available to help your business or organization get better
prepared for emergencies. The American Read Cross has a free
123-point Assessment tool grounded in scientific research, and best
practices consisting of five cornerstone preparedness actions.
Commit to preparedness - This step indicates your commitment to
increasing your business' level of emergency preparedness all
throughout the year. Your business can start this process by getting
senior leadership involved and appointing a staff person to this
Conduct a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment - Gather information
about possible emergencies that could impact your business and
capabilities to respond when faced with a disaster. Know the type of
disasters that could affect your region and obtain a Hazard
Vulnerability Assessment from your local emergency management
agency. Its important to know what your business capacity is for
preparing for, responding to and recovering from a disaster. If you
provide products or rely on products take time to assess your
supplies, equipment and human capital to resist damage during a
Develop an emergency response plan - Develop steps that your
business or organization will take to protect your business and
employees before, during and after an emergency. This step involves
identifying an emergency planning committee responsible for
developing and implementing an emergency response plan, putting the
plan in writing and encouraging staff to adopt it.
Implement your emergency response plan - Take this step to
continue to work with your committee to education and train
employees and by making preparedness a part of the corporate
culture. Take time to show employees how to be prepared at work and
at home to better equip your business respond to and recover from an
emergency. Conduct drills and regular exercises to get your
employees accustomed to the plan.
Help your community get prepared - The last step in the process
doesn't mean your job preparing is done. Rather it means making an
additional commitment to ensure that your overall community is
prepared for a disaster. This may mean adopting a local school or
school district to support their disaster programs or by
contributing supplies or services to emergency response efforts.
utilize the American Red Cross' free 123-point assessment, visit
other resources, visit www.fldisasterkit.org
for a free Business Disaster Survival Guide.
hurricane preparedness materials at the following links:
more helpful information, click on the links below:
past stories of the week, click here.