How quickly your business can recover from a disaster depends on the planning you do today.

America's businesses are the backbone of the nation's economy.  If businesses are prepared and ready to recover from a disaster, the nation and our economy are more secure. Your emergency preparedness should involve employees from all levels.


Be Informed:

  • Perform a risk assessment.
  • Know what disasters are likely to affect your area.
  • Establish an emergency plan.

Continuity of Operations:

  • Assess how your company funcitions to determine what is neccessary to keep it in operation.
  • Create and review a business flow chart.
  • Identify which operations are critical to survival and recovery.
  • Establish procedures for management succession.
  • Make copies of important documents such as site maps, building plans, insurance policies, employee contact and identification records, and computer backups in a waterproof, fireproof container
  • Include emergency payroll, expedited financial decision making and accounting systems.
  • Determine another location where you can operate if your building is inaccessible.

Emergency Planning:

  • Communication is critical. 
    • Include emergency preparedness information in newsletters, emails, etc.
    • Consider setting up a telephone calling tree, password protected page, or email aleart to communicate with employees.
    • Establish staff members who are responsible for communicating regularly to employees.
  • Identify co-workers with special needs.
  • Engage people with disabilities in emergency planning.
  • Have an Emergency Supply Kit , Shelter in Place Plan, and Evacuation Plan.


To learn more about business continuity please click here.


A template for creating a business continuity plan is available here.


Talk To Your People


Involve Co-Workers

  • Use internal communication tools to communicate emergency plans and procedures.
  • Set up procedures to warn employees.
  • Designate an out-of-town phone number when employees can leave a message letting you know they are okay.
  • Encourage employees to have alternate modes of transportation during and after a disaster.


Practice the Plan

  • Conduct drills and exercies to help you prepare your emergency plans.
  • Practice evacuating and sheltering.
  • Do tabletop execrises and walk-through drills.

Employee Health After a Disaster

  • Encourage adequate food, rest, and recreation.
  • Provide for time at home to care for family needs.
  • Have an open door policy that facilitates seeking care when needed.

Protect Your Investment


Insurance Coverage

  • Meet with your insurance provider to review current coverage.
  • Know what your policy covers.
  • Understand your deductible.
  • Plan how you will provide for your own income if your business is interrupted.



Utility Disruptions

  • Plan for extended disruptions.
  • Know how to turn off utilities. If you turn the gas off, do not attmept to turn it back on by yourself.
  • Consider portable generators.

Facilities, Buildings, and Plants

  • Install fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
  • Locate and make available building and site maps.
  • Identify what essential equipment is needed to keep the business operational.


  • Identfiy what equipment needs to be secured.
  • Move workstations away from large windows, if possible.
  • Attach equipment and cabinets to walls or other stable equipment.

Cyber Security

  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.
  • Use firewalls.
  • Don't open email from unknown sources.
  • Use hard to guess passwords. They should have at least 8 characters with a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers.