To protect the health and safety of their employees and their businesses, business owners and managers should:
- Prepare, review, revise and exercise their emergency plans and evacuation procedures; and
- Maintain an emergency supply kit, including not only survival items (water, flashlight, special medications), but also items that will provide comfort if you are evacuated (comfortable shoes and a first-aid kit).
If threat information is received that is specific to a certain building or business, the appropriate facilities will be contacted as necessary by public safety officials to alert them to additional security provisions that are being made or should be taken.
Emergency Planning for Businesses
As a business owner or manager, your emergency planning team should include all areas of your business, not just facility managers or public safety personnel. You should also include human resources, finance, administration, and executive level personnel.
The critical elements of a business emergency plan are:
(1) Direction & Control Who is in charge of making critical decisions, managing resources, analyzing information? Ensure that the chain of command during an emergency is clear to all of your employees.
(2) CommunicationsHow will you contact your employees? Your customers? Neighboring businesses? Local officials?
(3) Life SafetyTeach your employees about evacuation vs. sheltering-in-place. Identify external assembly areas if you are evacuated. Establish a system to account for your employees. Plan for employees with special needs or disabilities.
(4) Property ProtectionInstall protection systems. Make sure you have plans for shutting down or moving critical equipment. Identify critical records or data and back them up at another location.
(5) Public Information/Media RelationsAfter a large emergency affecting your business, media representatives will want to speak with you. Prepare background information about your company. Designate and train a spokesperson who can speak comfortably with the media and provide critical information for your clients and customers.
(6) Recovery & Restoration - Business Continuity PlanningA thorough business continuity plan may help you maintain your business operations throughout an emergency or ensure a quick recovery after an emergency has occurred. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) should address the following:
- Essential Functions: Identify and prioritize functions and identify the number of personnel and the equipment needed to perform these functions.
- Delegation of Authority: Identify personnel who are able to make critical decisions and identify the circumstances under which their authority would be used.
- Order of Succession: Develop orders of succession of sufficient depth and geographical dispersal for key positions within your department and develop procedures for the conditions under which succession will take place.
- Alternate Facilities: Identify alternate facilities where priority functions could be performed (home or alternate office space) and describe any limitations for full operations (space, equipment, infrastructure).
- Communications: Describe methods of communications needed for operations and tools that are available at alternate facilities.
- Vital Records & Databases: Identify critical operations documents, financial records, and timekeeping items and describe where how and where they are duplicated.
(7) Administration & Logistics: Identify required record-keeping methods and designate resource acquisition and tracking personnel.
SARA Tier II Reporting
The Guilford County Local Emergency Response Commisssion has voted to use the computer program E-Plan to support our Emergency Services. Simply go to the site, select “Companies - If you want to fill out your Tier II reports using E-Plan's Online Tier2 Submit” and follow instructions on each page. For assistance, call Jim Robinson, Greensboro Emergency Management, at 336-574-4082 or 336-430-6042.
Reporting businesses and industries are also asked to place their Contingency Plan under “Additional Documents” in E-Plan. You will receive a receipt that will also be copied to the Winston-Salem office of the NC Division of Environmental Management, Hazardous Waste Section.
When you use E-Plan for your Tier Two Reporting, you will not have to submit additional paperwork to the Guilford County LEPC or your local Fire Department. They are provided E-Plan accounts to consult when responding to your facility during an emergency and to assist with the preplanning of your facility.
Business Planning Links