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Creating a Disaster Prep Kit for your Small Business

One in four small businesses that close temporarily after a natural disaster do not reopen. A disaster prep kit can be one beneficial resource that helps protect your small business continuity. Consider taking these steps to help gather a disaster prep kit for your small business.

Note card clipped on a string that says Be Prepared.

Identify Risks

The natural disaster risks your small business could face will depend on your location. To prepare adequately, first know which disasters are common in your area, such as tornadoes, hurricanes or floods. This will help in starting to customize your disaster prep kit for maximum protection.

Assign a Safety Officer

Before getting your kit together, a single safety officer or a team of employees can focus on protecting your business before, during and immediately after a natural disaster. Part of the safety team's duties may include:

  • Form a plan to address each potential risk.
  • Prepare the property for natural disasters.
  • Create company-wide emergency communication protocols.
  • Designate emergency escape routes and clearly mark exits.
  • Conduct regular safety drills.
  • Stock a disaster readiness kit.
  • Compile a list of emergency responder contact numbers.

Get your Prep Kit Ready

Having essential communication, safety, first aid, hygiene, food and water items could reduce employee injury and equip your staff to shelter in place, if necessary. Stock a disaster prep kit in each department or an emergency safe room and ensure employees know how to access and use the items in the kit. Some top items to include in your kit are:

  • Non-perishable food
  • Drinking water
  • First-Aid kit
  • Battery-operated flashlights or lanterns
  • Extra batteries
  • Two-way radios plus whistles and flares
  • Hand-cranked or solar-powered NOAA emergency radio
  • Battery operated mobile phone charger
  • Blankets, plastic sheeting and tarps
  • Cash

Store your kit items in a container with a tamper-resistant , water proof, secured lid. Your safety officer can schedule regular inspections and replace outdated items as necessary.

Create Recovery and Continuity Plans

Part of your small business disaster preparation involves planning for post-emergency recovery and continuity. These plans safeguard your business and minimize harmful risks.

The disaster recovery plan outlines how your small business can respond to an emergency. This plan details how your company could continue operations and maintain a good reputation after a disaster occurs.

During a natural disaster, your business'best defense is preparation. Begin preparing now to improve your company's safety, security and continuity if a tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake, winter storm or other disaster strikes. In addition to these preparation steps, update your small business insurance. It can help your business recover and survive after an emergency.

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