Stay Open for Business

Stay Open for Biz
How quickly your company can get back to business after a disaster often depends on emergency planning done today. Otter Tail County Emergency Management encourages every business to consider taking the following steps.

Plan to Stay In Business

  • Continuity Planning - identify your priority services, lines of succession for all key positions, alternate operating locations, and mission critical systems
  • Emergency Planning for Employees - ensure emergency response procedures are in place, and that all staff have been trained in their emergency roles and responsibilities
  • Emergency Supplies - Identify and acquire supplies/services that your business can have available to support staff (e.g. water, food, heat, fresh air, first aid kits, etc.)
  • Planning to Stay or Go - plan what you will do if your facility is not usable; identify examples of when it may be safe to shelter-in-place and went to evacuate.

Talk to Your People

  • Practice Your Emergency Plans - provide regularly scheduled education and training; conduct drills on your plans to make sure they work.
  • Promote Family & Individual Preparedness - encourage your staff to prepare for emergencies at home, at school, and in the community; if families and individuals are prepared, your company is better prepared.
  • Write a Communications Plan - document how your organization intends to communicate with staff, local authorities, and customers during a disaster.
  • Support Employee Health Post-Disaster - provide support to staff for their post-disaster physical and mental needs; both time away from work as well as the return to a regular schedule may be needed

Protect Your Investment

  • Review Insurance Coverage - check with your provider about coverage for physical losses, flood coverage, and business interruption; understand what your policy covers and what it does not.
  • Prepare for Utility Disruption - plan for utility outages; identify alternate sources or methods to continue key functions.
  • Secure Facilities, Buildings, and Plants - install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and other detectors in appropriate locations. Secure entry/exit points, and mail procedures.
  • Improve Cyber Security - use anti-virus software and firewalls, and keep them up to date; ensure password protection to electronic files, and regularly backup your computer data.

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