Many businesses shut down for good after a disaster. Businesses that are unprepared for potential disasters and recessions do not thrive in today’s competitive market. Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example: it has affected nearly every industry. One way to protect your business from such a crisis is by implementing an emergency response plan. That way, the next time you face such disasters, you will have the right strategy in place.
The emergency procedures or response plans are the instructions a company should follow when a disaster strikes. The best emergency procedures do a lot more than helping businesses implement the best strategies during a disaster. For example, an emergency response plan prepares your business for shut-downs. It explains the actions that need to be taken during a recession or catastrophe, so you can not only function but even thrive during a crisis.
Here’s what you must consider when developing emergency business procedures for your business.
- Regulation Compliance
All businesses have to comply with the laws where they operate. Therefore, when you are planning your business’ emergency response procedures, make sure all the actions you include are in line with regulatory compliance. You don’t want to end up paying heavy penalties for going against the relevant laws or regulations. You must check the relevant, industry-specific guidelines to ensure that the emergency plans you have developed are compliant.
- Risk Analysis
Emergency procedures should be developed in advance. Waiting to develop your emergency responses until disaster strikes would be meaningless. When you prepare these procedures in advance, you have enough time to focus on all of the areas that need to be covered. This also gives you an opportunity to evaluate the impact of the disaster on your business.
For instance, chemical labs and companies manufacturing chemical products need to focus more on the emergency response for the critical waste spill than a cloth manufacturing company. You don’t necessarily have to prepare the emergency plan for all disasters, but try to focus on the situations that are likely to occur.
- Manage Risks as Much as Possible
Emergency business procedures are designed to mitigate the risks that can turn into serious issues. For example, you can avoid potential data loss by storing your data in the cloud and off-site as backup. Likewise, employees’ insurance policies must be checked and audited to ensure they offer the required coverage. You must also plan business procedures for emergency lighting testing requirements. The sooner you prepare your emergency responses, the lower the chances the small issues will develop into catastrophes in the future.
- Set up Contingency Plans
It is important to include risk assessment and management in your emergency response plan. You can’t predict the all outcomes, but you can deal with the challenges if you have a proper emergency procedure in place. The plan must consider the impact of disasters on your revenue, customers, supply and shipping, expenses and regular operations. It isn’t only about the expenses you will incur during the disaster, but you have to be prepared to handle all business operations, customer service and compliance efficiently even when things are turned upside-down.
- Emergency Response Teams
Emergency procedures should also include a list of team members and their responsibilities in the event of a disaster. Their names, contact information, and address details should also be included. Some companies assign each role to a single person, while others appoint a committee. You could also divide the roles between different departments. For example, one department can handle the communication responsibilities, while another can execute the necessary operational plans to control the crisis.
- Cover all Potential Hazards
Effective emergency procedures explain risks and outline a plan of action that should be followed when a crisis strikes. This mainly covers measures to protect your employees, customers, property, financial data, and confidential information. The plan should also detail how you will get your business operations back to normal post-disaster. Make sure you specify how you will support employees, as well as your business continuity strategy. You should also pay special attention to the employees and customers with disabilities.
- Training Your Team
Emergency procedures should also include a training plan for employees. This training should be conducted in advance of any potential disaster, and repeated regularly so all employees are up to date with procedures. You can conduct training in-house, or outsource training to the professionals. Being well-trained ahead of time will allow everyone to act quickly in the event of an emergency.
Formal emergency procedures are a must if you want to keep your business running smoothly. Only a strong and effective emergency response procedure can keep a company functional and effective in the event of a disaster, crisis or emergency. Never leave this until the last minute – you never know what may be just around the corner!