Earthquakes can and will happen in many parts of the United States while you are at work. Every area of the country relies on their local businesses to remain open after a disaster in order for the community to recover quickly. It is important to protect your physical building and the contents inside from damage, as well as train your employees on what to do when disaster strikes at work. The Earthquake Country Alliance offers many resources to help you prepare at home and at work. No matter what your industry or the size of your business, you can start today. For the guided list of how to prepare, visit http://www.earthquakecountry.org/downloads/7_Steps_to_a_Disaster_Resilient_Workplace.pdf.
And remember… we’re all in this together.
Here is a snap-shot of the 7 steps to guide your business to earthquake resiliency.
Identify potential hazards that could interrupt your business operations temporarily or worse learn where your business is vulnerable, and choose how to minimize these risks.
Create a disaster plan. Having a Business Continuity Plan can greatly reduce the risks and losses your business might face by guiding your decisions yet allowing flexibility to adapt to the unexpected.
Prepare disaster supplies kits. After a disaster, businesses will need to be self-sufficient as first responders address high priorities such as hospitals and schools. Determine what you need in the first days following an earthquake including the basics like food, water and sanitation.
Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them. Most businesses lease their space, so it’s essential to work with your owner and property manager on addressing structural issues. If you own it, strengthen those weaknesses. Either way, measures taken now can help you keep your doors open. No access, no business.
Protect yourself and employees during earthquake shaking – DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON. The ground is shaking, what do you do? The critical life safety step is Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Stay clear of any objects that may fall and stay put until the shaking stops.
After the earthquake, life safety is the top priority. Check everyone present for injuries and work with trained personnel to find anyone injured. Next, survey your building for damage or other hazards. Decide if it is safe to stay.
Once life safety is underway, it’s time to begin recovery activities to resume business operations. Conduct an assessment for operational issues. Use your plan to guide your actions and restore priority operations first. Communicate often with employees and key contacts.