While COVID-19 did not cause physical damage to buildings, it did bring to light an area of business continuity that was overlooked. From this experience, businesses will have learned valuable lessons regarding continuity plans, or lack thereof, during the past months. Now is the time, while it is still fresh on our minds, to review and revise the plan to prepare for future emergencies.
Things to be thinking of:
- If you don’t already have a plan in place, implement an overall plan that includes covering power outages, severe weather, earthquakes and pandemic guidelines.
- Check existing plans to include the latest emergency information, such as updates on epidemics and workplace considerations or changes in protocols for responding to this type of disaster.
- Update plans with a section on pandemics with resources and contact information. During this current pandemic, COVID-19 infections may rise and fall again, triggering more stay-at-home orders and supply chain disruptions.
- Plans need to encompass how employees will communicate, where they will go and if or how they will keep doing their jobs.
- Perform testing and practice new or revised emergency plans to make sure employees know what to do and to identify issues that might need to be addressed.
The details can vary greatly, depending on the size and scope of your company and the way it does business. Don’t wait until an emergency happens. Be proactive and start to research options of how you would be able to get back up and running as quickly as possible.
Here are some great links to get you started:
- Prepare My Business
- RS SafetyTV about this topic
- RS has a great COVID-19 resource page
- Washington Emergency Management has this Business Preparation guide.
- RS webinar archive has Ways to Prepare for Various Business Interruptions that can be viewed at your convenience.
WRA employs Rick Means who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected]