Emergencies can happen at any time, and it is best to be prepared. Whether you are at work or at home, it is important to have an emergency preparedness plan to follow in the unlikely event that disaster strikes.
As a part of our QMS system, we have developed robust emergency preparedness and disaster recovery policy and process that is fully integrated into our ongoing operations here at ARTÉMIA. As a business with headquarters in San Francisco, we built our emergency preparedness guidelines on the backbone of SF72 (http://www.sf72.org). San Francisco’s SF72 is preparedness policy is built on the notion that “in a serious emergency, city services will be impacted, so a basic rule of thumb is for people to be able to take care of each other for 72 hours before help arrives. That’s just three days—think of it as a long weekend—or nine meals.”
Here are some ways in which you and your company can prepare:
The best way to respond to a disaster is to consider the impact of a disaster such as an earthquake, flood, fire or power outage will have on you – your business, your place of work, at home or in transit. Mapping out the various steps to survive and manage such a situation will limit any anxiety and stress. This includes ways to connect and meet up with your colleagues and loved ones, especially if they are at different locations and may have difficulty traveling due to the lack of available transportation. Please see below a list of resources as well as a few useful templates
Whether you are in charge of your office or are stocking up at home, visit http://www.sf72.org/supplies. for an overview of useful supplies. Essentials include water, first aid, flashlights with batteries, fire extinguisher and food to name a few.
For a business it is essential to ensure all employees, contractors and visitors are briefed and trained in your emergency preparedness program and back-up plans. Monthly meetings are recommended as well as quarterly drills to practice the course of action to be taken. You know never when a disaster may occur, and you want to make sure that your team knows exactly how to react and remain safe.
Train in CPR
Consider training one or more members of your team in CPR. Depending on the size of your team, you may opt to have designated personnel (including volunteers and interns) to CPR certified. During a severe disaster, city services could be impacted, potentially delaying medical support. For more information please visit: http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr
Connect through digital networks
In recent years, social media has matured to such a point that it now can serve as a new alert and communications platform – one that was not available 15 or even ten years years ago. Social media are an integral part in communicating with colleagues, familial contacts and resource agencies. Since cell phone use will most likely be limited to texting the use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, is an excellent way to located and update loved ones and professional contacts alike. Should you interested in creating a social media response program for your business, you can learn more at ready.gov.
Additional information for your small business, can be found through the following organizations::
- FEMA – Plan and Prepare
- Red Cross – Prepare for Emergencies
- CDC – Emergency Preparedness and Response
- OSHA – Emergency Preparedness and Response
- S. Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Emergency Preparedness & Continuity of Operations
Should you have any questions, or would like support in creating your own emergency plan, please reach out.