Emergency preparedness is the best defense to protect a business organization when faced with severe weather conditions. It is important for all businesses as well as households to have such a emergency preparedness plan in place to minimize the damage caused by a crisis of this nature. The following simple tips can help you to be well-prepared when such a crisis occurs:
- Have a crisis communication solution in place: Effective communication is one of the most critical aspects of an emergency preparedness plan for severe weather. Investing in an efficient emergency notification system can go a long way in optimizing damage control during a weather-related crisis, and ensuring that everyone is informed of an impending disaster well in advance.
- Involve everyone in the plan: It is important for all the people directly related to the organization to be well-informed about the plan and how it works. The discussion should impart information regarding the different types of expected natural disasters typical to the area. The members should also be aware of the different plans-of-action for each disaster, and should be able to differentiate between weather watches and warnings.
- Develop an escape and/or shelter plan: The first step to developing an escape plan is to draw an overhead floor plan view of the building. You should then determine at least two escape routes for each room, and ensure all staff members are aware of how to open windows and screens. In addition, it is also important to determine shelter areas during a tornado, such as under the stairs, in a centralized room with protection, or in a basement.
- Have prior arrangements for help: This involves ensuring your local fire department and emergency management agency have your name and address, as well as having prior arrangements for help during evacuation.
- Practice your plan: No matter how fool-proof your emergency preparedness plan is, you must practice it through regular drills to identify any loopholes in the plan. These practice sessions should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure staff members are aware of how to implement the plan.
- Have well-stocked disaster supply kits: You must make sure you have enough well-stocked disaster supply kits to handle all types of weather-related emergencies. You can purchase commercially-available disaster kits at a discount from military surplus store or a hardware store.