Preparedness in Emergency Management

emergency plan disaster recovery

Business interruption insurance protects in times of crisis; however, determining the impact and extent of the interruption can be subjective. Licensed public adjusters work with forensic accountants and CPAs to review insurance policies and documents thoroughly.

Furthermore, they will quantify all damages and lost income, prepare comprehensive claims strategies, and, most importantly, have a deep knowledge of insurance inside and out. Working with a private adjuster ensures you get a full, fair, and expedited settlement so your team can concentrate on maintaining operations, and not be bogged down with claim details.

Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action. Training and exercising plans are the cornerstone of preparedness, focusing on readiness to respond to all-hazards incidents and emergencies.

Another vital part of emergency management is hiring a disaster restoration partner that’s able to respond quickly and efficiently. It is extremely crucial in preventing additional damage and to have them mitigate the many health risks associated with mold and other organisms that can begin growing shortly after a severe storm, especially if there is water damage.

Part of a comprehensive commercial property management emergency mitigation strategy team could include the following:

  • Private insurance adjuster
  • Disaster restoration partner
  • Emergency communication plan
  • Emergency response team
  • Emergency supplies
  • Alternate work locations
  • Building maintenance and inspections
  • Emergency power backup
  • Insurance coverage
  • Community partnerships (i.e., local emergency services, government agencies, and community organizations like the American Red Cross)

Response in emergency management

Okay, so you have all the recommended emergency response items accounted for. The disaster comes, and now it’s time to implement what you and your team have been preparing for.

A response in emergency management comprises coordinating and managing resources (including personnel, equipment, and supplies) utilizing the Incident Command System (ICS) in an all-hazards approach and measures taken for life/property/environmental safety.

An ICS can be used by businesses to work together with public agencies during emergencies. Private sector businesses should be familiar with the fundamental concepts of incident command and should coordinate planning with local public emergency services.

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was established by FEMA and includes the Incident Command System (ICS). NIMS is the standard for emergency management by all public agencies in the United States for both planned and emergency events.

Components of disaster recovery plan

There are seven main components of any good disaster recovery plan. These include mapping out your assets, identifying your assets’ criticality and context, conducting a risk assessment, defining your recovery objectives, choosing a disaster recovery setup, budgeting for your setup, and testing and reviewing the plan.

According to FEMA, creating a business’s preparedness plans should encompass what a business might need during an emergency as much as possible. This includes communications planning, IT support and recovery, and continuity plans. Here is a quick breakdown:

  • Response and Recovery Plans
  • Business Continuity Plans

Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.

  • Crisis Communications

The need to communicate is immediate when an emergency occurs. Customers will want to know how they will be affected, and regulators and local government officials must be notified. Employees and their families will be concerned and want information. Developing a plan in advance will let your business leaders promptly respond to these communications needs.

  • Emergency Response

The actions taken in the initial minutes of an emergency are critical. Promptly warning employees to evacuate, shelter, or lockdown can save lives. A call for help to public emergency services that provides complete and accurate information will help the dispatcher send the proper responders and equipment. Establishing an emergency response plan ahead of time will save valuable minutes when an emergency happens.

Technology recovery strategies should be developed to restore hardware, applications, and data in time to meet the business recovery needs. An information technology disaster recovery plan (IT DRP) should be developed in conjunction with the business continuity plan.

To gain some peace of mind for your business technology during a disaster, there are professional companies that provide support if your systems experience any disruptions. They will have you covered, from proactively monitoring and fixing your system remotely to enabling you to reset your system quickly. Here are some things that would potentially be covered:

  • Whether most of your network-connected devices are up and running
  • The health of many connected AV devices
  • Internet up/down state and average upload/ download speeds
  • Stability of power in the conference room and certain monitored high-voltage devices

And then there are a few things that would not necessarily be covered:

  • Quality of audio/video (a connected network media player may show as online, but the audio or video may still be experiencing issues).
  • Different apps or services within connected network devices (i.e., Pandora producing an error message on a Sonos player).
  • PoS and VolP systems

Severe weather impact on businesses statistics

According to a recent report by Harvard Business Review, severe weather disruptions add up. Every year, weather variability is estimated to cost $630 billion for the U.S. alone, or 3.5% of GDP. And yet, this aggregate number adds up positive and negative weather impacts and masks the true extent to which abnormal weather harms individual businesses operating in utilities, retail, food processing, transportation, and construction, among other industries.

Severe weather events have a significant impact on businesses across various sectors. These disruptions manifest in many forms, from physical damage to supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, increased operational costs, and reduced customer demand. These factors combined can severely strain a company’s financial performance and overall sustainability.

One of the most obvious ways severe weather can impact a business is through physical damage to infrastructure and facilities. Severe storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods can cause significant destruction to buildings, equipment, and inventory. This leads to costly repairs and replacements and results in the loss of productive capacity and operational downtime. The extent of the damage can vary, ranging from minor disruptions to complete shutdowns, depending on the severity of the weather event.

Supply chain disruptions are another primary concern for businesses in the face of severe weather events. Disruptions in transportation networks, such as road closures or flight cancellations, can hinder the movement of goods and raw materials, resulting in production delays and inventory shortages. For example, a retailer heavily dependent on imports may face challenges if the port of entry is temporarily closed due to a storm. Such disruptions can lead to lost sales opportunities and dissatisfied customers.

Preparedness in emergency management

In conclusion, remember that each commercial property may require a tailored emergency mitigation strategy based on its unique risks and needs. Regularly review, update, and test the strategy to ensure its effectiveness and readiness in times of emergency.