is important that business owners and management understand the potential
impact of an emergency on their business.
What would you do if you had a major fire? Do you have your critical
information backed up and in a safe place? Is your insurance up-to-date
and cover business interruptions. Would your bank work with you during this
type of a situation? How would your employees deal with an incident? Are
they trained and do you have measures in place to support them? A major
fire can be devastating but you can imagine the impact of a major disaster
such as a tornado, ice storm, or river flood.
Disaster preparedness means being prepared for anything. Good planning
and preparedness activities can significantly reduce the impact of a disaster
and may prevent business failure. While a disaster plan is a key component
of preparedness, it is not enough to protect you. You must take all of the
steps necessary to mitigate and to prepare for disasters. This includes
procuring the necessary emergency equipment and services.
Your disaster recovery plan must be integrated with your overall enterprise
business continuity management approach and must be tested through drills
and exercises that test your plans, your people, and your tools.
Key components of a disaster plan include:
- Threat Analysis
- Risk Assessment
- Mitigation Steps (disaster prevention and damage reduction)
- Response and Recovery Plans
- Damage Assessment
- Process Salvage Procedures
- Rehabilitation Plans
- Appendices - Appendices to the plan generally include notification
lists and other items that must be routinely updated. Some examples
- Notification Lists: names and numbers of employees and vendors
that will need to be contacted, including office and home numbers,
and next of kin.
- Recovery team members: list of recovery/salvage team members
(including work and home phone numbers), with description of their
responsibilities, scope of authority, and reporting lines.
- Detailed building plans: may be incorporated by reference.
- Resource lists: locations and inventory of emergency supplies,
sources of commercial supplies/equipment that may be purchased,
names of consultants and other specialists, sources of auxiliary/volunteer
- Storms and other severe
weather conditions or incidents
- River Flooding
- Explosions and fires
- Hazardous material situations
- Utility supply emergencies
- Community health concerns such as a
or other epidemic
Common Impacts of Disasters and Major Emergencies
- There can be significant numbers of casualties and the safety of
buildings and houses may be compromised, rubble may block areas making
it dangerous or difficult to get out or walk around.
- Community resources may be overwhelmed for the first 72 hours
- Health services in hospitals and mental health resources in an affected
community may become strained, maybe even overwhelmed. Know they are
doing their very best under extraordinary circumstances. Health care
facilities have emergency plans and might access additional resources,
such as mobile hospitals or enlist the support of medical staff/facilities
from neighbouring communities, provinces or the Government of Canada.
- Law enforcement from local, provincial and federal levels might
be involved following a terrorist attack due to the event's criminal
- Extensive media coverage, high public anxiety and social impacts
could all continue for a prolonged period.
- Workplaces and schools may be closed, and there might be restrictions
on local, domestic and international travel.
- You and your family or household may have to evacuate an area following
routes specifically designated to ensure your safety.
- Clean up and recovery operations could take many months.