Companies Embrace September as National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) and this year's theme is "Be disaster aware, take action to prepare." NPM is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awareness program, and is meant to help promote disaster management among businesses and other organizations.
There are still several businesses out there that do not have an appropriate disaster management plan within their company, and without the right plan of action, many of these organizations could see interruptions from any sort of disaster. In fact, the Small Business Administration (SBA) notes nearly 4 in 10 companies disturbed by national disasters end up closing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently more than 3,000 companies and organizations involved with the NPM and supporting emergency preparedness tactics. The hope is to get more business owners aware of disaster management so workers, residents and citizens in the area can be best informed and protected during a disaster.
Make sure information is available
One of the major motivations from FEMA is to always be informed on what's going on during an incident. Whether it's a business owner, security department or employee, FEMA recommends people should check all available media sources, such as newspapers, websites, radio and TV, to make sure they are up to date on local, national and global information.
When communities are better prepared during a national disaster or incident, it's less likely people will be injured or suffer. According to the SBA, businesses are especially at risk since there are many things that can cause company interruptions or threaten workers, such as:
- Earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and tropical or other seasonal storms
- Major equipment outages or power failures
- Access into and out of buildings cut off
- Internet and and phone outages
- Terrorism or other attacks
- Pandemics like the flu or other viral sicknesses
- Explosions, spills or gas leaks
Organizing a disaster management program
One of the most essential steps for disaster management is setting up the initial plan by identifying regulations, which would create requirements during an incident, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Ready program said.
Additionally, companies should make sure there's a clear communication connection through the organization so everyone necessary can be quickly informed. According to the department, businesses should regularly train, test and update their employees on the company's disaster management plan. Taking these steps will help improve the plan as well as assist the company if an event ever strikes in the area.
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