California Earthquake Reminds Businesses About Emergency Preparation

Posted on Apr 07, 2014

On March 28, southern California experienced two back-to-back earthquakes that ranged from a more mild 3.6 magnitude to a much longer quake hitting 5.1 on the Richter scale, reported The New York Times.

It was 20 years ago when Southern California last faced a major earthquake that took the lives of 57 people after a 6.7 magnitude rumble. The recent quakes have quickly reminded business owners in California about the dangers brought by a natural disaster.

California Earthquake Reminds Businesses

Companies need to prepare with a disaster management plan to mitigate risk as much as possible. While a natural disaster event such as a 3.6 magnitude earthquake might not directly affect a businesses' building, a stronger 5.1 quake certainly could harm business continuity.

Earthquakes bring an onslaught of resultant hazards, and in southern California, that could span the gamut - from broken water pipes to damaged homes, the source reported. Companies that remain up and running during such events need detailed information surrounding each incident. Power outages, road closures and water main breaks can affect business operations, supply chains, employees and corporate travelers.

Businesses have to protect their assets and when it comes to natural disasters such as earthquakes, there are plenty of risks employees and other valuable resources can encounter. Having the right disaster management plan can help businesses respond to natural disasters faster. If a company has information regarding the status of a specific location, it can warn its employees of and protect other assets from the dangers in that area.

Possible tsunami from earthquakes

California state officials and earthquake specialists are warning low-lying beach cities about the possibility of a tsunami if Alaska suffers a major earthquake in the near future, reported the Signal Tribune. There could be anywhere from $5 to $10 billion lost in business interruptions if the state is forced to evacuate areas such as Long Beach.

"It is a very plausible event … it's not that frequent, but it's also not really crazy," said Lucy Jones, a scientist who leads the study for Application for Risk Reduction at the U.S. Geological Survey, the source reported.

While earthquakes have not been an issue for the state lately, it's still a serious concern for businesses in the area.

"The last 17 years has been the quietest time we have ever seen," Jones told The New York Times. "Maybe we're starting to turn back to more normal levels."

Businesses should consider reevaluating their disaster management plan to ensure operations aren't impeded.


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