You work hard to make your business successful, but emergencies can devastate those efforts. Protect your investment and community by planning for emergencies like fire and power outages - two of the most common causes of business disasters in winter months. Take these steps now to significantly decrease your risk and the impact of emergencies on your business:
Step 1: Make a plan.
Put together an emergency response plan that you or a designated safety officer update annually and review with staff regularly. At minimum, that plan should include:
A protocol for reporting emergencies to response providers and local authorities,
An evacuation policy and procedure; and
A plan for communicating with leadership, staff, and the community.
Step 2: Implement these best practices:
Maintain an easily accessible first aid kit,
Keep walkways through your business and exits clear,
Dispose of waste properly and take out the trash,
Give appliances room to breathe and turn off or unplug them when not in use,
Replace fraying cords and keep them out from under foot (everyday traffic can easily damage them),
Save copies of your physical records and digital files in multiple places (e.g. off-site, cloud storage) and back them up regularly; and
Keep your location well-lit and locked up after hours.
Looking to take your preparations to the next level? Consider these actions and resources:
Install security cameras to deter crime and assist law enforcement. Check out DC’s incentive programs that can help cover costs.
Expand your emergency preparedness with FEMA’s business resources and planning guides.
Review and update your business’ insurance with this checklist from the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.