1. Brief Staff.  Talk to your staff about what emergency preparedness activities they can do before, during and after a disaster - at home, at work, in the office, or on the road.
  2. Emergency Supplies.   Keep enough emergency food, water, heat, lighting and sanitation supplies to last the number of people on the premises for at least 72 hours.
  3. Assess Building Vulnerability.   Assess how vulnerable your building is to disasters. Even if you rent or lease, make inquiries. Local structural engineers or contractors may be of assistance.  As well, decide what type of secondary or temporary premises you may need to continue to operate your business.
  4. Reduce Hazards.   Identify and reduce disaster hazards within the premises.
  5. Dangerous Goods or Hazardous Materials.   Review and identify procedures for storage, use, transport and disposal of hazardous materials, and prepare an inventory.
  6. Assign Tasks to Staff.   Remove any uncertainty as to what staff should do in an emergency. Assign tasks that staff are responsible for in an emergency.  This will help them to respond as quickly as possible. Provide training so they know what is expected. Training is available from the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance or the local college.
  7. Resources.   Determine the critical resources of your business (e.g. supplies, equipment, stock). Establish a backup supplier, preferably, from out of town (i.e. outside of the impacted area).
  8. Transportation.   Consider how critical resources could be shipped or transported if normal routes are not available.
  9. Vital Records.   Identify vital business records and documents (e.g. computer records). Store duplicates off premises. Set up a system for making regular backups.
  10.  Communications.  Telephone systems may be disrupted. Consider alternate methods of communication with employees, suppliers and customers.
  11. Review Insurance.  Determine your disaster insurance needs and arrange for additional coverage if required.
  12. Coordinate Plans.  Coordinate emergency plans with other building tenants, neighbors and business partners.
  13. Community Involvement.  Disasters affect entire communities, not just businesses. Your business may have a role to play in the recovery of your neighborhood. Contact your local government Emergency Response person to discuss your possible role. They can also assist you with business emergency preparedness.
  14. Practice.  Regularly practice emergency response and recovery activities. Revise plans from the lessons that are learned from the exercises.

Download an editable version of the
Household Emergency Plan