When we see disasters hit communities we don’t often think about the following facts.
- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. small businesses do not have an emergency or disaster preparedness plan in place (Ad Council).
- This despite the fact that about one in four small businesses will experience “a significant crisis” – hurricane, wildfire, tornado, power outage, flash flood, cyber breach, etc. – in any given year. (Association of Small Business Development Centers)
- Sadly, four out of 10 of small businesses affected by a natural or man-made disaster never reopen their doors. (Insurance Information Institute)
While we live in a natural environment that evolves daily, we should also note that the environment is subject to predictable patterns seasonally and prepare for that. The impact of physical processes of failure (ie. mechanical failure, human mistakes etc) can also be predicted. Thus, organizations should recognize that planning for disasters and emergencies can help prepare for the impacts to their buildings, people, processes and minimize the impacts and the costs associated with those impacts.
As you contemplate what actions you can take to ensure your organization can avoid costly impacts to your bottom line and your people, employees, clients and environment, consider hiring a professional or consulting emergency management professionals to assist you. The cost of managing emergencies are far less than responding to the impacts of an unplanned event. The planning process allows you to consider the probabilities and the possibilities of events and the likely costs for taking action to mitigate the event, thus reducing your costs. Decide through planning what events you want to avoid and what events you want to reduce the impact of. It is up to you and your organization. Plan to be prepared!