BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY PREPAREDNESS
There are real benefits to being prepared.
- Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Business and industry should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their business and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.
- Business and industry also can reduce the impact of disasters (flood proofing, elevating a building or moving a building out of harm’s way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.
The need to prepare is real.
- Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.
- If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. You should be ready to take care of your business for at least the first 72 hours of a disaster.
- You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area–hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.
- You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.
ARE YOU AT RISK?
If you aren’t sure whether your business is at risk from disasters caused by natural hazards, check with your local building official, city engineer, or planning and zoning administrator. They can tell you whether you are in an area where hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, or tornadoes are likely to occur. Also, they usually can tell you how to protect your business.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Protecting your business from disasters caused by natural hazards can involve a variety of actions, from inspecting and maintaining your buildings to installing protective devices. Most of these actions, especially those that affect the structure of your buildings or their utility systems, should be carried out by qualified maintenance staff or professional contractors licensed to work in your state, county, or city.
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