At WorkIs your business going to be a statistic?
International surveys have shown that more than 60% of businesses fail in the first 2 years after a major disaster like an earthquake. While this may be partly due to insufficient insurance for damaged property, much of it is because the business owner has not planned for disasters. Hospitals, schools, large factories and councils all need to operate and rehearse emergency plans and evacuation procedures. Contact your local Civil Defence staff or local business group for more advice or download "Resilient Organisations" a free resource which shows how to get your business thru disruption and adversity, whether it be caused by earthquakes, floods, snow storms, power outages, equipment breakdowns ...
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Identify where your business is vulnerable and make moves NOW to reduce that risk. Your aim is to be back in business as completely and quickly as possible.
HB Business Disaster Preparedness Survey - November 2011
Completed by Massey MBA student Monica Goldwater with the purpose to examine the state of current disaster preparedness amongst Hawke’s Bay area businesses, this project surveyed businesses primarily in Napier/Hastings that had some involvement in the Christchurch earthquake response and recovery process - either directly in their operational role or as a volunteer, or indirectly through family, business and social connections.
It found Hawke’s Bay businesses are underprepared in the event of a disaster, with the majority of businesses having taken no measures in implementing disaster preparedness plans - see graph. The size of a business remains the biggest indicator for disaster preparedness and smaller businesses are less prepared and more at risk for failure in the event of a disaster. There was also an inexplicable confidence in the business ability to respond and recover in the event of a disaster, despite the lack of disaster preparedness plans.
While many HB businesses were prompted to review their existing disaster preparedness plans after the Christchurch earthquakes, very few made any changes. Businesses most likely to make changes to their disaster plans were those who had a personal involvement in the response and recovery of Christchurch.
Don’t be one of those businesses that fails after a disaster, plan now.
|Maintaining a generator ensures local radio station stays on air during power cuts in September 2000 (Photo: HB Today)
Business recovery plan checklist
- Where is your business most vulnerable - in an earthquake? In a flood? In another natural or man-made disaster?
- Are all of your essential documents backed up or copied? And safely stored, even off the premises?
- Are shelves, tall furniture and expensive computers securely braced?
- If you have hazardous materials on the premises, how secure are they?
- Is your stock and equipment adequately insured?
- If your business has public access, what danger would your customers be in?
- Do you have regular emergency drills and have you tested your evacuation plan? Do you have emergency power sources if it is vital to maintain some power immediately after a disaster?
- After an earthquake or flood who will clean up the mess and get you back up and running?
- How soon will you be up and running?
- What will your business look like … the same or different?
- How will you let customers know you are still in business?
- What extra advice do you need to get to make sure your risks are reduced?
Why not take the Resilience Thumbprint survey to provide your organisations with a quick snapshot of your resilience. It only takes only 5 minutes to complete, and you will find out what the weakest aspects of your business resilience are. There is also a suggested action plan for improving resilience.
Employee recovery plan checklist
- Do your employees know the emergency drill and evacuation plan (and have you got one)?
- Who is in charge of making sure everyone is safe and calling emergency services when needed?
- Do they know where to turn off gas or electricity?
- Is at least one person in your business trained in first aid? And is your first aid kit of good quality and up to date?
- What plans have staff made for their family's safety, to reduce their fears if they can't get to them?
- How soon will staff be able to get back to work?
- What sort of customer service will they be able to provide ... the same or different?
Rural business recovery plan checklist
- Have you checked all of the above that might apply?
- How secure are your water supply and septic systems?
- Is your power backup secure?
- What are the risks from hazardous substances?
- Your home is probably your office so is furniture, shelving and computers properly secure?
- When you are out checking the farm for problems who will be in charge at home?
- What business contacts will need to be advised of any problems? Milk company? Livestock buyers?
You can learn more about preparing your business for disaster at the National Civil Defence website.