Preparedness Planning for Business

Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software.

Ready Business will assist businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards. This website and its tools utilize an “all hazards approach” and follows the program elements withinNational Fire Protection Association 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. NFPA 1600 is an American National Standard and has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Five Steps to Developing a Preparedness Plan

Program Management 
Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program 
Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program

Planning 
Gather information about hazards and assess risks
Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks

Implementation 
Write a preparedness plan addressing:
Resource management
Emergency response
Crisis communications
Business continuity
Information technology
Employee assistance
Incident management
Training

Testing and Exercises 
Test and evaluate your plan
Define different types of exercises
Learn how to conduct exercises
Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan

Program Improvement 
Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements

For more information http://www.ready.gov/business