This is Part 3 of a four-part series this month in honor of National Preparedness Month. While this may not seem to be the sexiest of topics, you need look no further than the wreckage left by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to understand the life and death issues faced by you, your family, and your business.
Week 3 focuses on creating and practicing your plans. This reminds of being a high school basketball coach. Each week, the coaching staff would put together a plan for the two teams we would play that week. We would then focus our practice and preparation on that plan, including very specific situations that would simulate the games. Creating a plan to survive – both in your personal life and for your business – demands the same process.
Step 1 is to actually think about, write, down, and communicate a plan. This step is for both your home and business. You should include things like first aid kit locations, emergency funds access, critical document storage, evacuation planning, and how everyone will communicate. Very few small and medium-sized businesses ever get past Step 1!
If you are a business owner, you have a responsibility to your employees and their families. If you have a family, you have a responsibility to them. Not doing so is negligent and dangerous.
Step 2 is knowing how to access community resources. This means shelters, food banks, and other resources that your local, county, and state emergency management teams have created. I know in my city, City Hall is designated as a community shelter in an emergency. They will provide heat, shelter, and food for those that have had some impact and are vulnerable. Do you know where your emergency shelters are in your city or town?
Step 3 is practicing your plan. I often tell business clients that while the fire extinguishers mounted on the walls in their business are nice, they are useless if nobody knows how to use them. You can have an evacuation plan that fails miserably if nobody knows it; a communication plan that falls on deaf ears if it hasn’t been tested; and someone become injured or die because they never practiced how to stay alive and guessed wrong. Bottom line: practice your plan to assure the safety and well being of the most important people in your life.
There is a fabulous program meant to train people to be first responders and help each other. It’s called Until Help Arrives and information can be located here – Learn more.
Next and final week, we focus on getting involved and being part of something larger. Being “safe out there” is incumbent on planning ahead.
P.S. Follow me on Facebook. This month, I will be doing a Facebook Live segment on how to pack a “go bag” in case you must evacuate your home and one that you should keep at work in case you get stuck and can’t make it home for days. I’m also posting daily tips on Twitter.
Quote of the Week:
”To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”
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Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me