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How To Make Disaster Preparedness Plans

How To Make Disaster Preparedness Plans

how to build disaster plan

In recent years, many businesses have awakened to the world of physical, environmental, and global risks that exist and pose a potential danger to commercial properties and businesses. While there’s no way to anticipate every single eventuality, it is possible to create a disaster preparedness plan that will cover most scenarios. The key to protecting the safety of workers and patrons, as well as minimizing operational downtime, is to create a simple emergency plan that everyone in the workplace can follow when needed. Planning ahead ensures that everyone knows what to do when an emergency happens and creates a coherent and proactive action plan.

Assessing Risk

To safeguard your business from potential disasters, it’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive assessment of physical disaster risks. This includes identifying large-scale emergencies such as hurricanes, winter weather, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods, and considering their potential impact on your business’s operations. Utilizing resources like FEMA’s risk assessment table can aid in this process, helping you evaluate both internal vulnerabilities like structural weaknesses and external threats like natural disasters. It’s also a good idea to check insurance coverage to make sure that your buildings and business will be adequately indemnified in the event of a partial or total loss. Through proactive risk assessment and strategic planning, businesses can minimize disruptions, protect assets, and ensure the safety of employees and customers in the event of a disaster.

Identifying Threats and Vulnerabilities

Identifying potential threats and evaluating vulnerabilities are critical components of effective disaster preparedness planning for businesses. Various types of threats can pose risks to business operations, including natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, which can cause widespread damage to infrastructure and disrupt supply chains. Furthermore, non-environmental incidents like workplace accidents and acts of violence can jeopardize employee safety and organizational stability. Understanding these threats is essential for developing proactive mitigation strategies and response plans tailored to each potential scenario.


In addition to identifying threats, businesses must also assess vulnerabilities within their infrastructure, operations, and supply chain to effectively prepare for disasters. Factors such as location, building structure, IT systems, and communication channels can significantly influence vulnerabilities and the severity of potential impacts. For instance, businesses located in flood-prone areas may face heightened risks of water damage to equipment and inventory.  As seen in the COVID-19 response, disruptions in the supply chain due to dependencies on single-source suppliers or inadequate contingency plans can amplify the consequences of disasters. 


To mitigate these vulnerabilities, businesses can implement strategies such as diversifying supplier networks, upgrading infrastructure to withstand potential hazards, and enhancing cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive data. By addressing vulnerabilities proactively, businesses can enhance their resilience and minimize the impact of disasters on operations and stakeholders.

What Is an Emergency Response Plan

A Business’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is the foundation of its disaster response strategy. An effective ERP will address thorough communication protocols, precisely mapped evacuation pathways, and a roster of emergency contacts ready for immediate mobilization. Together, these facets guarantee that, in times of disaster, disorder transforms into organization, ambiguity into certainty, and apprehension into decisive steps forward.

Developing an Emergency Response Plan

Developing an emergency response plan is key for any business and ensures readiness and resilience before crises ever materialize. The first step of developing an ERP is assembling a multidisciplinary team comprising individuals with diverse expertise and perspectives that cover a range of potential scenarios. This team will conduct thorough risk assessments to identify hazards and vulnerabilities specific to the business, guiding the development of targeted mitigation strategies. 


Next, businesses must establish clear emergency protocols, outlining procedures for communication, evacuation, and response coordination. Regularly reviewing and updating the plan to reflect changes in the business environment and emerging threats is important to staying abreast of changes in the environment. Testing and refining the plan through regular drills and exercises are essential to ensure effectiveness and readiness among employees.

Incorporating ERP software like Restoration ERP is one of the most important assets for modern emergency preparedness efforts for commercial properties. Utilizing dedicated ERP software accomplishes two main goals for companies; first, it puts the business in a proactive position to mitigate the negative effects of a disaster. Second, in the event of a disaster, it delineates all steps necessary to mitigate further damage and return to operations as quickly as possible. ERP Software streamlines the development, implementation, and management of emergency response plans, enhancing their effectiveness and efficiency.

Software solutions like restoration ERP often offer robust features such as 24/7 accessibility, Matterport integration, a live document expiry system, and more. By leveraging ERP software, businesses can ensure consistency in response procedures across departments and locations, improve accessibility to critical information, and expedite decision-making processes. Integrating ERP software into emergency response planning enhances overall preparedness, response capabilities, and organizational resilience, ultimately safeguarding employees, assets, and operations during a disaster.

Training for Disasters

Once your disaster plan is finalized by your coordinator, committee, and yourself as the business owner or manager, the work doesn’t end there. Your plan should be dynamic and actionable, not just a document to collect dust until disaster strikes. Employees need clear instructions on evacuation routes, with designated wardens ensuring everyone exits the building safely. Disaster communications materials should be developed for various stakeholders, ensuring accessibility both at work and at home.

Prioritize employee safety with preparedness kits containing essential supplies, considering commuting distances and potential road blockages. Every employee should understand their role during an emergency, and a designated person or team should be responsible for business continuity and crisis communications. This team ensures the business can resume operations safely after a disaster and works with the insurance company to recover losses, increasing the business’s likelihood of survival. By implementing a comprehensive training scheme, your employees will be well-prepared to handle emergencies, contributing to the overall resilience of your business.

Final Thoughts

Exercising the principles of disaster readiness, from crafting a robust Emergency Response Plan to conducting risk assessments, forms the bedrock of protecting your operations, employees, and assets. By integrating advanced tools such as those provided by Restoration ERP into your preparedness strategy, you can enhance your ability to respond effectively, minimizing downtime and swiftly returning to normal operations. It’s important to understand that preparedness is an ongoing commitment, not a one-time endeavor, reflecting a dedication to resilience and safety.


For personalized assistance in developing an ERP tailored to address the unique needs and threats faced by your business, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Restoration ERP or schedule a demo today. Our experts are ready to assist you in fortifying your disaster preparedness efforts and building a durable and robust business.