Emergencies happen more often than we might want to admit — and nothing quite makes you feel as helpless as having a disaster happen around you that you weren’t prepared for. As stressful as a disaster is on its own, being responsible for employees makes it even more stressful.
That is why it has become so crucial for businesses to have an Emergency Plan. In 2015, New Zealand made it a Health and Safety requirement as added protection for Employees and Employers during an emergency. While there are loads of emergencies ready to happen, nothing increases the odds of survival, like having a plan.
In this article, we will be discussing things you need to know to prepare a Business Emergency Plan and what you will need to make it happen if the need should ever arise.
Why is Business Disaster Planning Import And What Emergencies Should I Plan For?
Some disasters may be more likely to happen than others, which could depend on the Industry nature and location of your business. While this article will provide you with tips and equipment, it is essential to remember that most “plans” need to be flexible as the situation changes and needs to behave more like “strategies.”
While there are many different types of disasters, we will need to discuss sudden events that leave you little or no time to prepare in real-time.
Here is a list of emergencies you may need to plan for, some of them being direr than others.
- Utility Failure: Electrical Outages, IT Outages, Water Supply Issues.
- Natural Hazards: Tornado, Flood, Earthquake, Landslide, Fire, Extreme Weather like Drought or Major Storms
- Health Emergencies: Epidemics, Medical Emergencies, Workplace Incident, Public Health Event (e.g., Pandemics), violent people.
It would be best to discuss the risks particular to your business to best prepare your employees for any emergency that may not be covered in our article.
It’s no secret that being prepared is the best way to endure an emergency, but here are a few reasons a business needs to have an emergency plan.
Being prepared for an emergency or disaster can:
- Prevent harm and save lives
- Bolster confidence in employees and employers
- Ensure the transition of the business in the face of hardships
- Ease the return of the business and the jobs it creates
What Foods Are Best Kept for An Emergency?
Non perishables are always best for long-term storage and use in an emergency. Foods that are high in healthful fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are often recommended for emergency survival means. Some good items to have stocked are:
- Peanut Butter
- Whole-wheat crackers
- Nuts and trail mixes
- Dried fruits
- Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey
- Canned soups and chili
- Canned vegetables (green beans, carrots, and peas)
- Sports drinks
- Powdered Milk
- Granola Bars and power bars
In addition, it is a good idea to keep your pantry stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, and hard packed meats, especially if there is an emergency:
- Citrus fruits
- Potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes
- Cucumbers and Squash
- Hard packed meats
Food and water will be your chief concern in the event of an emergency, and there may come a time that you will be caught ill-prepared. It’s best to have loads of dried meats, canned goods, and of course, water. Experts suggest roughly 3 litres per person per day but will settle for access to clean water or the means to render dirty water potable. It’s best to have supplies for at least 24 hours per survivor. Some jurisdictions have more stringent standards, recommending keeping 21 litres per person (Wellington).
Emergency Kitting and Strategising
NZ Survivor carries these items in kits and offers Civil Defence Cabinets for you to build your very own Emergency Locker for an entire team. These Civil Defence Cabinets provide you with the ability to safely store your equipment and necessities for the rainy day none of us are looking forward to, some having wheels for mobile use or even Isolation Packs for your team’s work stations or cars.
The kits you need to construct can have emergency-specific supplies. Still, experts suggest keeping a bulk of the kit to broad-spectrum needs to allow kits to be useful over many different emergencies instead of just one or a few.
When you are preparing for emergencies, you must speak to any employees with disabilities to discern what assistance they may need during an emergency.
Of course, the emergency needs will depend on the crisis, but there are a few strategies you should have implemented in your plan to help ensure success.
- Staff Evacuation: Have a straightforward and well-explained procedure to follow in the event of an emergency. If you have staff working off-site, formulate a plan on how to stay in contact. Emergencies that may necessitate an Evacuation could be a Fire, Medical Emergency, or Utility Failure.
- Meet Point: It is a great idea to have a predetermined safe location for you and your staff to meet up after Evacuation. With the more significant emergencies, team members may wish to leave to be with their families, and it’s essential to have a plan in place for those who do.
- Looking After People: Make sure everyone is an essential aspect of your plan — including checking injuries, providing first aid, and making regular updates on the event until it passes and/help arrives. This may include treating something very common and incredibly dangerous to any plan: Shock. It’s best to have the injured lie still and breathe with their legs slightly elevated.
While these pointers may seem pretty clear cut and simple, it is important to make sure your plans are flexible in the event they are not.
If you own the property, it is important that you set up and maintain a Fire Evacuation Plan that may need to be approved so, please check the criteria listed on the New Zealand Fire Service’s website. Any plan to prepare for a fire should include extinguishers, smoke alarms, and Fire protective blankets, which can be found on New Zealand’s Choice For Civil Defence and First Aid Equipment — NZ Survivor.
What Else Will I Need?
The truth is, nothing is going to shake you up more than an emergency, especially a severe one. The only way to make sure that you will keep your head on your shoulders and keep your employees safe is to be prepared.
Planning and preparing as a business will allow you access to resources you may not have otherwise, and that doesn’t always include equipment. NZ Survivor is your one-stop shop for all your emergency needs. We provide not only the equipment to handle just about anything life has to throw at you, but we also offer preparedness training to businesses, schools, or even just groups of people looking to increase their Emergency Preparedness know-how.
Whether it is a solar oven, a civil defence cabinet, fire extinguishers, or go-bags, NZ Survivor will make sure that you and your business are well prepared for the emergencies that may come your way.