It is National Emergency Preparedness Week from May 7 – 13, 2017. This is an excellent opportunity to ask yourself how well your organization is prepared to respond to an emergency situation or a natural disaster.
Are You Ready If Disaster Strikes?
Imagine a Saturday evening. Perhaps you are just coming home after an evening out with friends and you get an unexpected call. It’s your alarm company informing you that an alarm has been received from your office. You head out to investigate and as you get closer to your office, you see flames in the distance.
In the midst of a very stressful situation, it becomes very challenging to concentrate on what you need to do in order to respond effectively. And that could be the reality for a large number of small to mid-size organizations because they do not have a continuity plan in place to provide guidance if disaster strikes. This is a significant risk that is often overlooked. A high percentage of organizations impacted by a disaster without a plan to respond fail to recover from the impact.
Disaster Can Strike At Any Time
A serious situation that could impact your operations can strike quite unexpectedly at any time. Consider the following examples and ask yourself what the impact of a similar situation could be on your organization and if you have a plan to respond.
- 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire – Wildfire destroyed 2400 homes and other buildings
- 2013 Calgary Floods – Approximately 75,000 people had to evacuate
- 2013 Boston Terror Attack – City of Boston is almost shut down for close to two days
What You Should Do To Be Prepared
During Emergency Preparedness Week, it is a good time to assess how well your organization is prepared to respond to an emergency. It is also a good time to review your business continuity plan, or to develop one if you don’t have one in place. If you need help creating you plan, try reading some of our past blogs, like this one.
The American Red Cross has developed a no-cost online Ready Rating Assessment to help public organizations, non-profits and private businesses to assess their disaster readiness levels. This is a useful tool to assess how well you are ready to respond to a disaster situation.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has published guidelines, tools and templates that can help you to review and/or develop an emergency and disaster plan. These include 8 Steps for Planning Your Emergency Plan
BDC’s Business Continuity Plan Templates provide a number of templates you can use to build a business continuity plan for your organization.
What steps has your organization taken to be ready to respond to emergency situations? Are you confident that you are ready?