Preparedness Planning for Your Business
Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software.
Ready Business will assist businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards. This website and its tools utilize an “all hazards approach” and follows the program elements within National Fire Protection Association 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. NFPA 1600 is an American National Standard and has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The five steps in developing a preparedness program are:
- Program Management
- Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
- Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
- Gather information about hazards and assess risks
- Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
- Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
Write a preparedness plan addressing:
- Resource management
- Emergency response
- Crisis communications
- Business continuity
- Information technology
- Employee assistance
- Incident management
- Testing and Exercises
- Test and evaluate your plan
- Define different types of exercises
- Learn how to conduct exercises
- Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
- Program Improvement
- Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
- Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
- Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements
Source : Ready.gov: FEMA
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Know your surroundings.
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- Make plans to secure your property:
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Install a generator for emergencies.
- If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows. When flooding may be occuring, be prepared to take shelter on a floor safely above the flooding and wave effects.
- Consider building a safe room.
Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site,www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419.
Receiving timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events can make all the difference
in knowing when to take action to be safe. Local police and fire departments, emergency managers, the National
Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and private industry are
working together to make sure you can receive alerts and warnings quickly through several different technologies
no matter where you are–at home, at school, at work, or in the community.
For those with access and functional needs, many messages are TTY/TDD compatible and many devices have
accessible accommodations. Review this fact sheet to make sure you will receive critical information as soon as
possible so you can take action to be safe. Be sure to share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues.
And remember to keep extra batteries for your mobile phone or radio in a safe place or consider purchasing other
back-up power supplies such as a car, solar-powered, or hand crank charger.
Click this link to find a detailed guide of Alerts and Warning by Fema.
:Source by fema.gov:
Be Smart. Know Your Hazard
- WHAT: Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world.
- WHEN: The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.
- WHERE: Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific.
Know the Risk
Do you want to have a better understanding of the hurricane risk you and your community face? Below is a map of the United States and the frequency of hurricane and tropical storm activity by county. Atlantic data dates back to 1851, while Pacific data includes storms since 1949.
Want to know more? Go to American’s PrepareAthon!
Putnam County, along with its towns and villages, are in the process of developing a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). This plan is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to be eligible for federal grant funding for public and private mitigation projects. The HMP provides a “blueprint” by which local governments can make coordinated, cost-effective efforts towards reducing losses from natural hazards (flooding, severe storms, severe winter storms, extreme temperatures, etc.). Available funding can support projects such as drainage improvements, structural elevations, and backup power for schools and critical facilities. To find out more please visit our project website at http://www.putnamhmp.comand take our citizen preparedness and mitigation survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PutnamHMP.
What is NY- Alert?
It is the New York State All-Hazards Alert and Notification web-based portal. It is part of New York State’s ongoing commitment to provide New Yorkers with information so that they will understand the risks and threats that they may face and know how to respond accordingly. This was put in place to make sure that our citizens are prepared as possible for any emergencies that may arise. One of the keys to preparedness is having up-to-date information.
NY- Alert contains critical emergency-related information including instructions and recommended protective actions developed in real-time by emergency service personnel. Concurrent with the posting to this website, that same information will be disseminated through various communications systems (e.g. email, cell phones, media outlets) to those who sign up.
The information posted here will include severe weather warnings, significant highway closures, hazardous materials spills, and many other emergency conditions. Additionally you will find information regarding response actions being taken by local and state agencies and protective actions that you should take to protect you, your family and your property.
Why should I sign up?
By signing up for NY-Alert, you can receive warnings and emergency information via the web, your cell phone, email and other technologies. Signing up for NY Alert is free. Your information is protected and never shared with anyone else. You can modify what type of information you receive or unsubscribe at any time. It is a tool to provide you with critical information when you may need it most.
How do I sign up?
For easy to follow instructions on how you can sign up and have the latest Emergency Information from NY-Alert Click here!
If you already have an account and want to log in.
A component of your disaster kit is your Go-bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.
- Radio – battery operated
- Dust mask
- Pocket knife
- Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
- Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
- Local map
- Some water and food
- Permanent marker, paper and tape
- Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
- List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
- List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
- Copy of health insurance and identification cards
- Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
- Prescription medications and first aid supplies
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Extra keys to your house and vehicle
- Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.
Emergency Plan Checklist
Disasters, natural or man-made, often come without warning. Have these supplies and details organized ahead of time, and you’ll weather the storm with less stress.
- Know your area and what disasters are possible.
If you live in a flood plain or your town is on an active fault line, you need to plan accordingly. Check ready.gov for what to expect in your area.
- Create a basic emergency supply kit.
Be sure that it includes the following: Water (have one gallon per person, per day, for three days—for drinking and sanitation); food (have a three-day supply of nonperishable items); can opener; battery-powered radio; flashlight; extra batteries; moist towelettes and garbage bags (for sanitation needs); local maps (if your preplanned evacuation route isn’t passable, you can navigate back roads, if necessary); first-aid kit; whistle (to signal for help); wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities); dust mask
- Consider a few extra items, depending on your family’s needs.
These might be: Food, medication, and toys for pets; infant formula and diapers; extra eyeglasses; an extra prescription slip or refill of important medications (talk to your doctor); comfortable shoes and a change of clothing for each family member; blankets or sleeping bags
- Make a to-go bag.
Create a small version of an emergency kit with essentials like nonperishable food, water, a small first-aid kit, and a change of clothes that you can grab in a hurry or keep in the car.
- Know your evacuation routes.
Have more than one option for getting out of town quickly.
- Designate three family meeting spots.
Pick an area near the home to meet in the event of a fire. Choose another that is in the region, in case everyone is scattered and can’t get home. Have a third that is out-of-town, should your family have to evacuate separately.
- Select an out-of-town contact.
Name one family member or friend who can serve as a point person if your immediate family is separated.
- Make a list of phone numbers.
Everyone in the family should have a list of important contacts they carry with them. Make sure you include numbers for your office, your partner’s office, your children’s schools, day care, doctors, and close family members. Include the numbers of your health and home owner’s insurance companies, as well as your policy numbers.
- Write down important personal information.
On the same emergency phone list, note any medical conditions you have. For your young children, record date of birth, address, and medical conditions. You can print out a template listing all of this info at ready.gov.
- Know the emergency plan of your children’s schools.
If your kids are evacuated from school or day care, where do they go? Where can you pick them up?
- Have a family meeting.
Make sure everyone knows and understands your emergency plan. Talk about meeting points, discuss fire safety, and have kids get involved in making the emergency supply kit. They may alert you to something you forgot—like the necessity of a spare security blanket.