Emergency Business Check-Up

The following is a very helpful mailing from FEMA, which has dramatically improved its communications since the Katrina debacle.

It’s January and Time for Your
Business Emergency Check-Up!

Hello from the FEMA Private Sector Representative Desk!

Before the holidays we sent you a message introducing me as the new FEMA-PSR, and your representative at the National Response Coordination Center. Since the NRCC is not currently activated, I wanted to take a minute to pass along to you some tips I have found very useful in preparing private sector organizations to survive a disaster.

As a former emergency management coordinator in local government and currently as the Director of an emergency preparedness and recovery division for a private consulting firm,  I have gathered a lot of “lessons learned” from managing and evaluating major disasters. January is a good time to examine your plans or initiate new ones that will protect your vital assets and fast-track recovery should 2012 bring disaster close to home.

Why not take a minute right now to review the 5-item check list below. Doing so could save you days and many dollars down the road!

1._____           I have designated a location where employees will assemble in the event of an evacuation and I have communicated that information.

2. _____          I have designated a place where I can communicate with staff shortly after an emergency in case a power outage makes web-based or electronic communications difficult or impossible.

3. _____          I have protected my essential data, files, and communications through back-ups at an alternative location or in the “cloud”.

4. _____          I have thought about how I could be involved in community disaster response and recovery through my local government emergency management office, the local Red Cross chapter, the Chamber of Commerce, or other organization. The faster we all get “back to business” the better it will be for the whole community.

5. _____          I have made sure that I can access and manage our business phone line, even if a disaster has physically damaged our office.

That’s it! Complete these 5 steps and you will already have helped to protect your best asset – your employees – as well as taken steps to maintain a basic level of operation and reduce losses if your business is affected by disaster this year. And, you will be contributing to your community’s resiliency as well. That’s a great value for a little bit of effort. I would enjoy hearing about your success with the checklist if you care to share.  Just send me a brief email with your story. Examples of good practice are always welcome and give me the opportunity to share them (and your company’s name J) with many others.

For more in-depth information, check out FEMA’s publication, A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action or go to www.Ready.gov.

Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you with your business preparedness, and have a healthy and profitable New Year.

Hollis Stambaugh
Private Sector Representative
202-646-3553 Office
202- 674-8392 Cell
Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street, SW
Washington DC 20472
FEMA-PSR@fema.gov

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