Category: Business Contingency Planning

Will insurance cover it? Wait til he sees the fine print. . .

Broken down car in the desert. Will  roadside assistance help?

Have you ever just had a plain, bad week? Like this guy in the photo, car broken down miles out in the desert. Will his roadside assistance even come to help him, this far away from anything? What do you bet he has never read the fine print . . .!

This photo instantly reminded me of the older Prius we drove some years ago. Its battery died at 154,000 miles. We confidently pulled out the warranty. When we read the fine print on that one, sure enough. It had expired at 150,000 miles!

The point of these examples: It’s always a good idea to know what your insurances really cover . . . and when it’s time to make some changes.

So let’s take a quick look at some coverages you may have been taking for granted.

Let’s start with the small print of Roadside Assistance.

When I was a kid, and the ’37 Chevy stopped running, my Dad would get out, raise the hood, and was almost always able to get things working. At least, we got to the nearest garage. Today, though, drivers old and young are pretty much thwarted by the modern car’s computers. Their only option: Roadside Assistance!

I personally couldn’t get along without it. (If you don’t have it now, consider getting it. Check first with your insurance company, then with an organization like AAA or Good Sam, maybe even with a premium credit card where it could be included for free. As with everything related to insurance, coverage and prices vary.)

With the man in the photo still in mind, I took a quick look at the “towing limits” for my own program and coverage from several other roadside assistance programs. They varied widely! One covers costs of a 5-mile tow (pretty much useless, I would think) to a 1,000 mile tow to a tow to “the nearest qualified repair facility.”  (How do they define “qualified?”)

So questions you should be asking about roadside assistance for your own car or cars:

  1. What is actually covered?
  2. What (or who as driver?) is excluded?
  3. How much are you paying, and does it make sense given your car and your driving habits?

Next, let’s take a look at Health Insurance, on my radar since I got an update from my own plan last week.

(How often do you get updates from your own insurance? How often do you actually read them? I admit to filing most.)

This report caught my attention because it was about “Getting Care During a Disaster.” If they are sending me a special report on this topic, I assume coverage might not be what I would normally expect! Close examination led me to these interesting facts:

  • A “disaster” is only a disaster if the state governor, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or the President of the United States declares it. (A localized flooding or fire may not reach “disaster” proportions.)
  • My insurer will try to keep facilities open and will post schedules and access info online. (Not going to be very helpful if there is a widespread power outage . . .)
  • If I can’t get to my insurer’s regular facility or office or pharmacy, I was pleased to see that I can get care elsewhere, without a referral or prior authorization, and will only have to pay my usual amount.

Once the disaster is over, however, or after 30 days have passed and there is no end date declared, I’ll be on my own if my provider hasn’t been able to re-open!

So these questions should immediately come to your mind:

  1. How does my insurance carrier define emergency?
  2. Where can I get care if my usual doctor’s office or pharmacy is closed?
  3. What WON’T be covered in an emergency?

Makes you think about taking another first aid course, doesn’t it?!

Finally, what about a longer-term emergency at my workplace?

Small businesses, in particular, are often so busy keeping everything going day to day that they simply overlook anything beyond standard property and liability insurance.

Here at Emergency Plan Guide, we have looked more closely at what happens when you experience a business interruption. As you might expect, business interruption insurance has even more than its share of fine print.

Basic business interruption insurance is meant to help support the business and you only for “covered perils.” So, anything not listed as covered won’t be covered!

Reading the fine print may reveal that some interesting things are NOT included in “basic covered perils.” For example . . .

  • Utility service interruption may be covered (as an add-on) – but it may not cover you if power to the business comes through overhead transmission lines.
  • If your business is only partially closed, but customers can find a way to get in, your business interruption insurance may not kick in.
  • What if your business is closed due to a cyberattack? Given that small businesses seem to be the target of most data breaches (43% of all of them in 2019), this is protection you need to consider. However, note that you may not be able to get coverage if your business hasn’t set up industry best practices for protecting your data and computer systems.

The above details are random examples, selected to make the point about knowing exactly what your various insurance policies cover. As you review that fine print, check for a waiting period before the coverage takes effect . . . or an end period after which it stops. And all insurance coverages may include deductibles and/or maximums.

It’s up to you to fit the policy to your own likely needs.

Insurance is an essential piece of your emergency preparedness. But you can’t rely on last year’s policies!

These days we are experiencing such rapid changes – from weather to first-ever political and public health events. Values are rising and falling in unprecedented fashion. New insurance coverages are being developed while others are shrinking or have even disappeared!

Staying on top of your insurances takes more effort than every before. If you haven’t done a recent insurance review, September is a good time to get one scheduled and dig into the fine print of each of your policies. After all, it is “Emergency Preparedness Month!”

Good luck!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. It pays to remember the underlying fact about insurance: the agent works for the insurance company, and not for you. The more you know about your situation, its peculiarities, and way insurances work, the better you’ll be able to work with the adjuster when you have a claim. If you have a very big claim, you may want to consider hiring a private adjuster to represent your interests.

P.P.S. There’s more about insurances here on our site, by the way. You can check on these Advisories:

Do you have a solid Business Contingency Plan?

Every project needs a safety plan as part of a solid contingency plan
Safety and security as part of the plan?

Since my goal for summer is a series of simpler Advisories, here’s another quiz – this one, for business owners. The quiz isn’t just a quiz, though. It’s designed to kick-start a “to-do” list (for all that free time you have this summer!).

The quiz is meant to get you thinking about your Business Contingency Plan. How solid is it, really?

Does it need reviewing? Updating? Maybe even completion because a few pieces are missing? Every improvement you make will give your business a better chance of avoiding an emergency and making it through if something does happen. We all know by now that without a workable plan, ANY emergency could blow up into a full-fledged disaster. Nobody needs that!

Let’s start with key elements of a solid business contingency plan. For example, does your Plan include  . . .

  • Evacuation policies (Who turns off what? Who keeps track?)
  • Adequate Shelter in Place supplies (What supplies? Where stored? How managed?)
  • Procedures for Work-from-Home employees (Equipment? Software? Security?)

Your Plan may be complete, but is it up to date? For example:

  • Have you updated your list of threats? New ones emerge every day! Cyber threats and financial challenges seem to be at the top of the list these days.
  • Does your communications plan alert not just employees and employee families but other key players (customers, suppliers, regulators, etc.)? What if the emergency happens over the weekend or on a vacation day? A solid business contingency plan takes a look at the latest communications technologies. They are impressive!
  • Given recent dangerous workplace incidents, should you update your security plan?

Often overlooked: Does your Plan consider Key Personnel?

  • Does every key position have someone trained as back-up? That includes you, as owner!
  • If a whole specialized team is suddenly knocked out (gets sick, for example), do you know where you’d hire a team of replacements – and where you’d put them?
  • Who understands what the competition might do if your business closes? Is that person prepared with appropriate public relations messages?

Where’s the money going to come from in an emergency?

  • How will you pay employees if the business is shut down? (Do they all have to be paid?)
  • How will you deal with rent, utilities, etc. (Can any be cancelled, at least temporarily?)
  • Will a business interruption trigger any fines for delays, broken contracts, etc.?

Does your Plan address potential legal exposure?

Are you doing what other owners in your industry are doing when it comes to planning for emergencies? If you don’t have a solid plan, could you be blamed for “negligent failure to plan?” You don’t need a lawsuit on top of your emergency!

This quiz is not a complete review!  There are many, many more questions that can be asked to help identify a solid business contingency plan. We hope that the quiz has reassured you. If it hasn’t, perhaps your “to-do” list now includes setting up a meeting with your emergency management team, or your insurance agent or attorney.

Did too many of these quiz questions make you uneasy?

You may want to take a closer look at your Plan. For easy-to-follow guidance, we recommend our latest book, Back Up and Running.

Book: Back Up and Running - DIY Emergency Preparedness Planning for Small Business

More like a workbook than a text, Back Up and Running is written for business owners without any contingency plan. It covers all the basics using a 10-day schedule.

One of the experts who reviewed the book described it as “VERY high level.” I take that to be a polite way of saying it sticks to the basics and doesn’t get off into detailed weeds. . . which is exactly what it was meant to be! Take a look a the the book here, on Amazon. For $10, you may find yourself relieved – or inspired. Either way, a worthwhile investment.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. As always, let us know what “hit the spot!” when it comes to your business!

P.P.S. If you’re interested in other Advisories for business owners, you might find these useful:

Fire! Fire! Quick, the extinguisher!

Fire extinguisher in smoke - Will it work?

Suddenly, a commotion down the hall – you hear screams, then shouts: “Fire! Fire!”

First reactions might be: “Get out now!” or maybe “Take the stairs!”  But someone (you!) should respond with:

  • “Where’s the fire extinguisher?”  and then,
  • “Will it work?”

If you can answer “Yes!” to “Will it work?” you may be able to keep a fire from becoming a disaster.

Here at Emergency Plan Guide, fires and fire prevention are a frequent theme.

For example:

  • In California, wildfires threaten all year long. We’ve addressed them often, including introducing a new way to provide local water on demand for firefighting helicopters.
  • Just last month we touched on the urban apartment house fires where smoke alarms didn’t work. This led to more info about alarms, their batteries, etc.
  • Last year we shared pictures of senior citizens testing their skills using the laser training extinguisher system from Lion. (That training was excellent, and fun. We asked our seniors came to that meeting carrying their home extinguishers. Then we found, and compared dates of manufacturer. The “winner” had an extinguisher dated . . . 1994!)

But let’s go back to the people hearing “Fire! Fire!” – the situation we described in the very first sentence.

Since you’re reading this, we can assume that if you heard this you would know where to find the nearest fire extinguisher. We would LIKE to be able to assume you know how to use an extinguisher. (Check out the laser training Advisory, mentioned above.) The question we can’t answer, and we suspect you may not be able to answer either, is . . . “Are you sure this extinguisher will work?”

I can’t find any “official” statistics about failure. (Odd, actually. I wonder why not? I’ve got a clue – coming up later.) But I heard a sobering interview with a retired police officer. Here’s pretty much what he said. “I’ve arrived at around a dozen car fires, grabbing the extinguisher in the squad car. But then, because my extinguisher gave out after a couple of seconds, I stood there helplessly watching as a fire that should have been easily extinguished burned that car completely up.”

Seems to me there must be a better way to know if the extinguisher will work. And this month I believe I’ve found one.

There’s a lot to this investigation. Here are the questions I asked, and some answers I’ve been able to come up with.

Why can’t we count on fire extinguishers? Main reasons seem to be:

  1. The pressure gauge may say “OK” but extinguisher may be “dead.”
  2. The chemical powder inside the extinguisher has moisture or compacted and won’t discharge even if there is pressure.
  3. The canister is rusted, or the rubber hose has decayed; they come apart in your hands. Extinguishers with plastic components seem to be particularly vulnerable.
  4. The user may never have practiced switching hands to pull the pin, aim the hose and squeeze, etc.

But I thought extinguishers were inspected?

Sure, OSHA has clear inspection and maintenance requirements for the workplace. (But do people do them at home?) Here’s what I learned about caring for an extinguisher.

  • Every month should start with a “visual test.” Is the extinguisher where it’s supposed to be? Visible and easy to grab? Pressure gauge in the green? Any obvious damage? Is pin in place?
    • What to watch for? (1) Homeowners store their extinguishers under the kitchen sink. WAAAAY under. They fail this first test. (2) Apartment house owners discover that the cabinets, where extinguishers are supposed to be, are empty.
  • Once a year, extinguishers in commercial use are supposed to be serviced by state licensed technicians. This means examining and repairing any potential problems with handles, hose, nozzle, etc.
    • What to watch for? My research found that sometimes technicians add repairs and items that may not have been necessary. But since business owners seldom really check their bills, they just end up paying them!
  • Every 5-6 years (sometimes every 12 years, depending on type of extinguisher) professional service companies test the container itself. They discharge the extinguisher, take it apart, then reload and re-pressurize it. This takes time and requires special knowledge, tools and supplies (new extinguishing agent).
    • Coming up: More on how this may not be as effective as you’d think!

So how long does a fire extinguisher typically last?

The “answer” here seems to depend on a number of things: the quality, type and size of extinguisher, its environment (stored inside? outside?), etc. The NFPA makes this general statement: “ . . .,rechargeable fire extinguishers must be recharged every 6 years, whereas disposable extinguishers must be replaced every 12 years.“

So the first thing to know is whether you have a disposable or a rechargeable extinguisher. (Most homeowners have disposable models because they are easier to find and less expensive to buy. More about price, below.) A disposable extinguisher has plastic components; the rechargeable extinguisher has a metal cap and valve.

Check the age of your disposable extinguisher!

Find the manufactured date (on the label or on the bottom – always tiny print!). If it’s 15 years old, dispose of it and get a new one!  (Remember our senior citizen clutching the extinguisher manufactured in 1994??) 

What about a rechargeable extinguisher?

When your rechargeable extinguishers are properly maintained, they’ll last a lot longer. Still, you’ll be paying for the maintenance services. And when the rechargeables reach the age of 12 years, they’ll have to “pass” even more stringent and costly tests if you want to keep using them safely.

Warning. In my research, I discovered references to “fire extinguisher service companies” that were not only adding fraudulently to their bills, but weren’t even the licensed services that companies thought they had a contract with! Be sure to check!

Second Warning. Even when your extinguishers are being recharged, you may not be getting what you are paying for. The problem? Some service providers may not be refilling your extinguishers with the proper chemical agents. A 2020 test of 100 extinguishers (from different manufacturers, different service companies, etc.) by Dyne Fire Protection Labs found that 9 out of 10 had been re-filled with something other than what the extinguisher manufacture called for! Obviously, the wrong “mix” may mean the extinguisher may not operate as designed. After a fire you’d sure hate to have the official report claim “User error” when it was all the fault of the extinguisher! (See video report of the Dyne study here: )

So what’s the Better Option I discovered? An extinguisher called the Rusoh® Eliminator®.

Even though it’s UL listed, and has been on the market since 2017, I have never seen this extinguisher! It really is different, starting with looks. Here are the innovations and why I had to write this Advisory.

  • You “charge” this extinguisher only when you need it! Pull down the simple yellow lever to puncture a CO2 cartridge (about the size of a short flashlight). The extinguisher is instantly pressurized. (The cartridges come in packs so you can always have a fresh one on hand.)  So, the Eliminator eliminates the “pressure leak” concern.
  • There’s no danger of the chemicals inside the container getting compacted, thanks to the Eliminator’s “Fluffing tool.”  (This is what captured my imagination!) Imagine an augur running up the center of the extinguisher. Every month, just give the “Fluffer” on the bottom of the extinguisher several turns. The chemicals inside will be stirred and mixed up, eliminating “compaction.”
  • The container can’t rust or dent or degrade because it’s made of super hard polymer. Eliminates damage and/or deterioration. Recyclable, too.
  • To use, lift off the wall holder, puncture the CO2, aim and squeeze. Big handle that’s easy to grab, solid body, works with left or right hand. Eliminates confusion and fumbling.

Most compelling feature for business? The Eliminator can eliminate service contracts!

Because it’s so simple, you can do the monthly and annual maintenance yourself after getting certified via an online course. Doing your own maintenance saves money being paid to outside vendors, and avoids the security and perhaps health risks of having strangers wandering through your facility.

So what does the Eliminator cost, compared to traditional extinguishers?

As you might expect, the initial purchase price is more. I looked at the cost of the 5 lb. extinguisher, most popular for commercial use. It costs around $150 (on the website), compared to a typical rechargeable extinguisher around $40-$60.

But that’s the purchase price, not the full cost. For business, costs includes those yearly inspections, maintenance, recharge, etc. How much are you paying for those services now? If you’re always on the lookout for cost savings, check out the Savings Calculator at the Fire Technology Innovations site.

If you’re serious about better fire extinguisher protection, I encourage you to take a closer look at the Rusoh Eliminator. You may want to do like I did, just pick up the phone and talk directly to the VP, John Tabacek. Here’s his contact info: John Tabacek, Fire Technology Innovations, (949) 246-4826 (PST),,

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. These questions were all mine, as a “regular” consumer with a serious interest. I am sure that a trained professional may have more of them. Either way, as a user or a professional, your comments and questions will help us all learn more. Please share them!

Maybe you missed this? Tsunami warnings.

tsunami evacuation route sign
Are you familiar with this?

Yes, where you’re located makes a difference when it comes to emergency planning. I’m writing from sunny Southern California, just about 12 miles from the Pacific and its beaches. We plan a lot for earthquakes, but seldom if ever for tsunamis. But we need to keep remembering that everything is changing these days! On January 15, just 3 weeks ago, we were alerted by a series of unexpected but real tsunami warnings!

A volcanic eruption near the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific was the cause . . . and I’m sure you have seen images of what happened there. (Actually, not many images have surfaced since the eruption and waves destroyed all internet connections in the area.)

While effects were minor on the West Coast, some marinas and harbors were hit, some streets and parking areas were flooded, and a few boats were damaged or even sunk.

Could you find yourself in a Tsunami Danger Zone?

Maybe a LOT more easily than you think!

In the U.S. residents of coastal cities are at risk for tsunamis: in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. We need to add to the list US business travelers and tourists heading to Japan, Thailand, Singapore and anywhere in the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire” countries. That’s a lot of people and a lot of places!

My son was caught in the tsunami that hit the Pacific in 2004. He was vacationing in Thailand. As he reported it live on Larry King (!), he saw a “strange long unbroken wave” forming way out in the bay. He even paused to take a photo without realizing that the wave was bearing down on the beach much faster than he could run.

Pacific Rim countries showing reach of 2004 tsunami

Yes, he was caught, washed off his feet and pushed into a building, where he was able to clamber up above the water and wait until it went down. He was young and very strong and lucky. He lost only a shoe and a camera. Over 227,000 people around the Indian Ocean weren’t so lucky. They lost their lives. This little map shows just how far that tsunami reached! 

That was in 2004, and many Americans really didn’t know how to recognize a tsunami. My son didn’t. He would now, though, and you should be able to, too.

Be prepared before you ever hear tsunami warnings.

I’ve written before on how to know you’re in a tsunami zone, and what do to to be ready in case one hits. I just recently came across and excellent video on LinkedIn and I decided it was a lot better than my earlier written description!! Even if you think you’ll “never be in a tsunami zone” someone you love may be headed on vacation next summer. Be sure they see this video, too!

Thanks to Steve Eberlein for another great training video!

Some compelling highlights from the video

  1. Are you in a tsunami zone right now? If you’re in the US, you can check at Or if you’re on the road, check the World Map at
  2. How will you know a tsunami is on its way? NOAA emergency radios and various alert apps broadcast this information. You may hear local sirens if the tsunami is threatening.
  3. If you are in a zone — particularly if you are traveling and in an unfamiliar place — you MUST know the evacuation routes! (Steve’s video makes this very clear!) Family members need to know them too, because you may not be together when you hear the tsunami warnings. Nor will it necessarily be in the daytime, during moderate weather, etc.
  4. If you feel an earthquake and are on the coast, and if you hear tsunami warnings, how long do you have to get to safety? It may be as little as TEN MINUTES! That means you won’t have time to run back home or to a hotel to get personal things or your emergency kit. So — be sure every family member has at all times a day-pack that holds some essentials, including emergency contact information. A jacket, snack, etc. would be good, too. You may not be able to get back, or get back together, for hours or even days.

Pass along this information to friends and family – and stay safe! Don’t wait until World Tsunami Awareness Day comes around on November 5 to be better prepared for this hazard.

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. While we’re talking about tsunamis and earthquakes, did you know that April 26 is National Richter Scale Day?

Security at the Front Door – What your Receptionist needs to know!

Empty shop -- No security at the door of this business!
“Anybody here? Hello?”

You walk through the front door of a small business and into the reception area. Surprise! There’s no one in sight! You stand there for a while, then call out: Hello?  Hello?

You have just witnessed a BIG security breach — right at the front door!

Sure, there are many reasons these days why a small business might be short staffed — mostly, because of the pandemic. (Unemployment, no available child care, etc.) But no matter the cause, that empty business has encouraged any would-be robber. And if the intruder has violence on the mind, whoever comes next into that reception area will be the prime target.

Where’s the receptionist? And what’s the role of the receptionist in business security?

As receptionist, you may consider yourself a customer service representative. That may actually be what’s in your job description. But you are also the gatekeeper. In fact, you are the main element of security at the front door of the business! So this Advisory is for you.

Let’s look at some questions you should be asking about a job as receptionist. And if you’re the employer, what YOU should be thinking about for that position. It’s a key one!

1-Is your workplace particularly vulnerable?

Some jobs have a higher risk than others. For example, as receptionist, will you . . .

  • Deal with cash? (ex. bank)
  • Deliver or hold packages? (ex. hotel)
  • Encounter unstable people (ex. law enforcement, health care)?
  • Work alone or with just a small group of co-workers?
  • Work late at night?

Most office thefts take place in the early morning, lunch hours, and around closing time, particularly on Fridays or holidays. Does your reception area have just one person in it during those times? What happens when that person needs to go to the bathroom?

2-Is your reception area laid out in the best way possible for security?

Generally, the receptionist should have a clear view of the entrance, and be able to see everyone in the lobby area.

Good visibility includes keeping doors and windows clear of signs, keeping the cash register in a central place where it can be seen from the outside, and keeping counter tops and displays low so no one can sneak in and hide. And, of course, visibility is improved with good lighting.

Does the receptionist deal with cash? If so, is there a bolted down DROP safe for added security? It lets envelopes be deposited without the safe door being unlocked. The safe makes deposits efficient — and keeps people from trying to fish the money back out!

Here’s an example of a drop safe, from Amazon (where we are affiliates). It’s cost is around $200. Amazon also offers installation for an additional price. Click on the image for full details and current prices.

Digital Depository Safe – Electronic Drop Box with Keypad, 2 Manual Override Keys – Deposit Cash Easily – For Home or Business by Paragon

3-What controls who comes into the lobby and who goes through into the rest of the work area?

Is there a desk or other barrier between the receptionist and visitors? Does the receptionist “buzz” people in from outside or do they just walk right in? Obviously, in a restaurant or shop, as in the picture above, doors are likely to be wide open. In an office, however, you’d expect some sort of formal reception area or lobby.

And given new pandemic health requirements, is the area set up so employees can be easily screened before they enter the work area?

4-What responsibilities does the receptionist have for security at the front door or elsewhere on the premises?

An “entry level” job may be what is being advertised, but as a receptionist you need to know answers to security questions like these:

  • Does the receptionist keep track of who arrives and who leaves, and when? What about visitors? Do you use Visitor ID badges?
  • What identification and ID policies are in place for regular visitors (vendors) and family members?
  • Is there a list of people who are not allowed in? Who keeps the list, and does the receptionist know about it? 
  • Does the receptionist have a map of the property with rooms and escape routes marked, in order to assist First Responders who may arrive in an emergency?

Are temporary or substitute receptionists made aware of all these responsibilities for security?

5-Does your front entrance have visible surveillance equipment? 

We’ve all seen them from time to time: wide-angle mirrors placed in strategic locations to eliminate blind areas.

And almost everywhere these days we are seeing both outdoor and indoor surveillance cameras meant to deter shady or criminal activity. A sign saying “You are being filmed!” helps, too. Some people even mount fake cameras — but experienced criminals can tell the difference. (After an incident has occurred, of course, cameras are only useful if they are real, and monitored.)

Caution: When it comes to signage, local regulations may limit — or force — what you can post. Find out the requirements before you make any purchases.

For this discussion, the question is: if cameras are installed, how are they monitored? From the front desk? From another location?

6-What about perimeter security?

What follows are some simple technical solutions aimed at strengthening your business’ perimeter. We haven’t considered the role of security guards, or a security firm, in this discussion. That’s a whole topic of its own!

Fencing serves as the classic perimeter security. That may include planter boxes and bollards (short, sturdy posts designed to keep traffic out of an area). If physical fencing isn’t possible, you may want to consider virtual fencing. This is an area where new technology is coming into play all the time! Some varieties to become familiar with:

  • “geo fencing” uses GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual fence around a specific location. When a mobile device goes through the fence, it sends a message either to the device itself, or to a monitor.
  • laser fencing where a “broken beam” indicates someone has come through the “fence” (We’ve all seen the movies where the thief has to maneuver athletically through miscellaneous red-colored laser beams!)
  • Wireless motion sensor — also tracks heat — to let you know when anyone enters your property.

A couple of simple examples. The first is an example of a photoelectric beam (laser) motion detector with a relatively short range. It could be set up across a doorway or gate.

Seco-Larm E-931-S35RRQ Enforcer Indoor/Outdoor Wall Mounted Photoelectric Beam Sensor with 35 Foot Range

This second example, also from Amazon, can secure a larger perimeter by adding additional components. (When you get to Amazon, click on the link to get to Guardline’s sales page to see all the different combinations.)

Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm – 1 Motion Detector Alarm Sensor & 1 Receiver, 500 Foot Range, Weatherproof Outdoor Security Alert System for Home & Property

Once again, someone has to be monitoring the system in order to notice when the perimeter is breached! Is this the responsibility of the receptionist?

7-Has a window or door been opened?

A security system might also simply sound an alarm if doors and/or windows are unexpectedly broken or opened. This one might work for a small business or shop.

KERUI Upgraded Standalone Home Office Shop Security Alarm System Kit,Wireless Loud Indoor/Outdoor Weatherproof Siren Horn with Remote Control and Door Contact Sensor,Motion Sensor,Up to 115db Standalone Home Office Shop Security Alarm System Kit, Wireless Loud Indoor/Outdoor Weatherproof Siren Horn with Remote Control and Door Contact Sensor,Motion Sensor,Up to 110db

8-Does the business have policies for managing a hostile situation?

We’ve experienced too many incidents lately where employees or customers have “gone off,” with tragic results. Could any of them be prevented?

  • Has your receptionist received training on how to handle difficult people or threats?
  • Does the receptionist have a “panic button?”
  • Do you have a “code word” that would let someone know a dangerous situation has developed?
  • How would you let all workers know there is an emergency situation at the front entrance?

What’s the next step for your business?

The questions in this Advisory are meant to start a discussion. If you’re the potential (or current) receptionist, you will have a better idea of what you might want in the way of security at the front door. If you’re the business owner, you’ll have a better idea of steps to take, too.

Your business insurance carrier may be a good place to start for more information about security. Better security may reduce your insurance premium!

“But our business is different.”

Of course every business is different. That’s why every business requires a customized plan for security. Consider getting help from a security consultant if you have questions. But don’t put it off. Every business has a legal duty and a moral obligation to provide a safe workplace.

Disclaimer: We’re not police or security professionals so the information here, while we believe it to be authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. Also, please be aware that laws and regulations vary from state to state and industry to industry. Get professional advice!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

If security at the front door is something you’re interested in, take a look at this Advisory, too: It provides a more complete overview of different monitoring equipment and basic monitoring systems good for home or small business.

P.S. Business owner or manager? Download the pdf of this Advisory and use it to start a discussion with staff. You may not need to follow through with all these suggestions. But you should at least have an idea of what other businesses are doing to protect their workplace — and their receptionist.

Respond to an Active Shooter


Ready to head back into society after the pandemic?

Planning an outing to a favorite shopping street for the first time in months? A big family picnic in the park for the 4th of July? Looking forward to getting back to the office? If you’re like me, you probably are spending time just imagining how great it will be to be with people again! If you’re like me, you are also taking some time to think about personal safety in these crowd settings. In particular, you’re thinking about how you would respond to an active shooter.

The huge upsurge in shootings over the past year just can’t be ignored.

Can you prevent an active shooter event?  No.

Can you protect yourself from being a victim? Possibly. But only if you know WHAT TO DO and you DO IT IMMEDIATELY.

What’s the latest intel on active shooters?

I just attended two webinars on the topic of active shooter events, one from a commercial security firm and the other sponsored through FEMA. I looked at the latest statistics and reviewed the latest “best practices.” Interestingly enough, the people doing the shooting are pretty much the same: 98% men.

How police respond has changed dramatically. (As the security guy said, “The first officer to show up will be coming in running . . .”) Weapons have become more deadly. And the number of shootings is increasing.

How to protect yourself, though, hasn’t changed much. But that won’t do you any good if you haven’t prepared.

It’s time to prepare emotionally and review just how we would respond.

“I just lay there, waiting for my turn to die.”

I first read that statement after the events that took place at Virginia Tech way back in 2007.  You will remember that the shooter entered several classrooms and simply shot all the students one after another.  Then he came back and shot them again. The quote is from one of the girls who survived.

What is shocking is that this same quote has been repeated more than once in similar situations! Faced with an active shooter, some people seem to become like sheep! I was outraged and dismayed by the quote, and determined that Emergency Plan Guide readers would never respond this way!

So, what’s your plan?

Start now working on situational awareness.

In our Mini-book on Personal Safety, we describe a half-dozen “exercises” you can practice — alone or with your kids – that will up your readiness. The exercises almost all have to do with what’s called “situational awareness.” That is, noticing what other people are doing, noting where entrances, exits and potential hiding places are, and thinking and talking about “What would we do if . . .?”

Since Active shooter events are almost always over within 10 minutes – sometimes before the police even arrive — what counts is what you do within the first minutes or seconds. The faster you realize that something is wrong or out of place, the faster you’ll be able to act. Situational awareness is what gives you that edge.

Then, it’s good to know what to do to respond. Here are three resources I hope you’ll put to use starting immediately. Share them with your family, groups you belong to, and at work. You’ll come out with a better idea of how to respond if you encounter an active shooter.

Step One — Watch the video: Run – Hide – Fight

The original Run-Hide-Fight video was produced in 2012 by the City of Houston. We have shown the video multiple times to different audiences. They are always taken aback even though it’s a staged production. It lasts only 5 minutes but will generate important comments and questions. Here’s the link to YouTube: (Be ready to skip the ads at the beginning.)

Step Two — Watch the video: Options for Consideration – Active Shooter Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security produced this video in 2019. It’s about 7 minutes long. I didn’t find it as powerful as the Run-Hide-Fight, nor is the quality as good. What is good, though, is to observe how long it takes the people in the video to respond to the sound of gunfire! And it has some more good ideas about hiding. You could watch both videos at the same meeting.

Link to the DHS website where you can view the video:

Step Three — Download: “Active Shooter – How to Respond”

This is a 13-page pdf from the Department of Homeland Security. You can use it in many different ways — as study material for a discussion, as a guide for a quiz, material for a flyer, etc. Since you’re here right now, though, here are some highlights taken from all three of these resources to get you started.

And now, some specifics.


If you hear gunshots, don’t stop and ask, “Hey, do you think that’s gunshots? Maybe it’s just fireworks? Or is it a car backfiring?” If you see a shooter, or see people running, don’t just stand there looking for the source of the noise or action! You need to get away from the shooter and any stray bullets!

  • Have two different escape routes figured out – at all times! First may be back the way you came in. But if that route is blocked, or the shooter has come in behind you, you need an escape route that takes you out another way. Maybe it’s through the kitchen of the restaurant, out the loading area of a grocery store, out a marked emergency exit. Always keep a lookout for alternative exits wherever you are.
  • Leave your stuff behind – purse, backpack, computer, etc. You can’t run with your arms full of packages.
  • Get out even if others don’t seem to want to. But don’t allow people to head INTO danger if you can help it.
  • Call 911 when you can. Give as much information as you can to dispatch: who, where, how many, etc.


The shooter is in a hurry. He wants to injure or kill as many people as possible. He knows he will probably die before it’s all over. So he’s looking for easy targets. If you can hide, and he doesn’t know or suspect you are there, he’s likely to move on. So, how to hide?

  • Get into a room with a door you can lock or block. Reinforce by pulling furniture in front of the door. (Remember that scene in the Capitol where furniture kept insurrectionists from breaking into the House Chamber?)
  • Turn out lights. Pull blinds or otherwise block the view into your room. You don’t want to draw any attention to your hiding space.
  • Get behind heavy furniture as protection from stray bullets.
  • Be quiet – really quiet. That means turning off radios and computers, and SILENCING your phone, not just putting it on vibrate.


If the shooter is so close to you that you can’t run or hide, your only option is to fight for your life! Yes, you may be injured. But you may also save many lives that otherwise would surely be lost.

  • Attack means attack! Scream and yell aggressively and dramatically! Move rapidly!
  • Create chaos! Throw stuff to hurt and disorient the shooter. Computers, chairs, lamps, a pot of coffee, your purse, books, a fire extinguisher. Anything can become an effective missile.
  • Gang up and attack as a pack! Some people can go for the shooter’s legs, others for his body. The sheer weight of several people can overwhelm one individual. You may be able to hold him down until authorities arrive.
  • Commit . . . and don’t quit.

And here’s one more exceedingly simple suggestion – When you get back to work or to school, take a look at the doors of the rooms you use. Can they be locked to keep out a shooter?

You may not be able to harden door frames or replace locks. But for sure you could make sure every inward-opening door is equipped with a simple rubber door stop! Shooters are looking for easy victims; if a door appears to be locked or is too hard to open they will go on to the next one.

I found this commercial door stop at Amazon. It’s meant to block doors with an up to 1 ½ inch gap.

Shepherd Hardware 9133 Door Stop, 1-Pack, Brown

At a cost of less than $5, I would buy one for every non-secure door in my building!

Be ready to take action. Train family members and neighbors, too. This is life-saving information.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

Make Virtual Meetings More Fun — and More Effective

Ready for virtual meeting. Hope it will be fun and effective!
“How will I possibly make it through the whole meeting?”

Our best-selling book last year was Emergency Preparedness Meeting Ideas – that is, up until COVID hit and in-person meetings were cancelled! Happily, our Q&A Mini-Series was finished just in time to take up the slack. The mini-series booklets can provide the perfect launch for a series of virtual meetings on the topic of emergency preparedness. Whatever your topic, though, you want to make virtual meetings more fun — and as effective as possible!

We’ve scheduled different types of virtual meetings since our in-person meetings were cancelled.

Telephone Conference Calls

Earlier this week, for example, we held a simple telephone conference call to discuss an upcoming COVID vaccine clinic being held in our neighborhood. We chose a simple telephone call-in format so neighbors without internet access would be able to participate. About 40 people joined the call. (Hint: Even a simple conference call needs managing! Be sure that you know how to mute and unmute attendees, and explain what you are doing when you do it! First-timers on a conference call may never have heard the word “unmute.”)

Virtual Video Conference Platforms

Joe and I have also participated in many webinars, several Zoom meetings and a Microsoft Teams meeting. Meetings were as long as 2 hours; participation ranged from 15 to as many as 60+ people. Some sessions could have been more effective and a whole lot more fun. Here is some of what we experienced . . .

  • Some people’s faces are in total shadow so you can’t see if they are awake or asleep.
  • Probably half the attendees pay close attention; others bob around, eating and drinking.
  • A few people simply disappear for a while and leave you seeing just their name, or worse, their empty chair!

We want to improve on results for the meetings we are hosting!

A while back we compiled some best practices for preparing for and managing virtual conference calls. They still hold. Today we want to step up to another level of effectiveness – an increase in engagement, education, and just plain fun.

Whether you are the host or a participant, you can help get your message across by including some of the following suggestions. We’ve included emergency preparedness examples to help in your planning.

As you will see, these suggestions assume a relatively small group – maybe 12-15 people. A group this size keeps everyone visible in gallery view. Plus, you can see people’s expressions, their hand motions and, if they want to hold something up to show, everyone can see it. This size group is also exactly what we had in mind for the Prepare & Share concept, where the goal of the meeting is to help build relationships, not just deliver information!

Show and tell, don’t just talk!

  • Demonstrate a piece of equipment or a tool. If the topic of conversation is emergency lighting, for example, you can hold up your foldable lantern, flip up the handles and pull to turn it on, show how the switch activates different white/red/strobe lighting options.
  • Show variations on a theme. Have several members of the audience bring their favorite pocket knife or maybe their favorite first aid kit — and be ready to explain which feature/s they particularly appreciate.
  • Illustrate using a miniature or a picture – either of which can be held up to the screen so everyone can visualize the item. For example, what about a model mobile home or tent, a chain saw or a firefighting helicopter with its snorkel? Too big to hold up to the camera!

Give weight to your words.

  • Make words or ideas tangible. Are you quoting a good book? Hold up the book where the words can be found. Point to the picture of the author!
  • Illustrate a concept. Show how the wrong sized wrench can’t accomplish the job! Or remember the little kid’s toy, with holes for the various shaped blocks? Use either to illustrate the importance of the right fit.

Ask for feedback along the way.

  • Ask for a quick vote: thumbs up, or thumbs down? Interrogate a couple of your participants as to why they voted that way.
  • Take a survey. Go around the “room” and check to get everyone’s opinion regarding an option, their biggest concern, etc.  Use this information to schedule the next meeting topic, invite a guest speaker, etc.

Make virtual meetings more fun!

  • Pick a theme and decorate! Have participants create their own (homemade) video background based on the theme of the discussion. Let everyone vote on the winner.
  • Dress up for fun! Have everyone wear a hat illustrating the theme or the topic of the day. (Fire helmet. Police cap. Ear muffs for bad weather. Headlamp. Hard hat.)
  • Bring something to illustrate the topic! For example, people could bring and share “the one thing they would HAVE to have in their Go-Bag!” You’ll be surprised . . .!
  • Celebrate a holiday or a birthday – or an “un-birthday.” Share a photo of a past birthday, or a wedding. Or a holiday. There’s a holiday of some sort every day! Today, for example, it’s National Chili Day! See
  • Grab a screen capture of your group so you’ll have something to share on a completion certificate, or in a church newsletter, etc.

Be confident in your personal “look.”

  • Wear real clothes, not your PJs. You may have to get up and “reveal” yourself. No use being embarrassed.
  • Set up lighting so your face is clearly visible. Your remarks will be more effective. And people want to see that you are paying attention! (See lighting hints here.)
  • Avoid annoying and disconcerting glare from eye-glasses by further adjusting lighting. (Here’s an excellent and energetic YouTube video to give you help with avoiding eyeglass glare!)
  • Know how to mute and unmute yourself. Practice.
  • Stay “in the frame.” Make sure you, your hands and your props stay “in the frame” that everyone else sees. Rule of thumb: your head should take up 1/3 of the screen. You may have to practice holding your props at the proper distance from the camera, pointing to a specific feature using a pencil, etc. (You can go to Zoom before your meeting and test your audio and video.)

Whether you’re hosting a meeting of neighbors, family or business colleagues, I hope you’ll find some suggestions here that will work to make virtual meetings more engaging. If I were responsible for facilitating a meeting, I’d try to fit in an “activity” like one of those above every 6-10 minutes.

And don’t be shy. You can use items from this list to make virtual meetings more fun and more effective even when you’re not the person in charge!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

Send a copy of this Advisory to every one of your team (along with the list of Best Practices) so they each will have some good ideas with which to start their next virtual meeting!

Make your business stand out in your community!


Now, I’m always on the lookout for ideas and activities that help spread the word about emergency preparedness. Since you’re here, I assume that fits you, too. If you’re in business,

Here’s a way to use emergency preparedness to make your business stand out from the crowd!

It’s a simple idea. Just copy what one of my friends does so well!

Jacque is a longtime and very successful real estate sales professional. She’s also a CERT graduate. Now, while I don’t buy a house every year (!), Jacque and I do enjoy meeting up at various trainings, city meetings, etc.

Like many business owners, every year she delivers a holiday gift to clients and friends.

Of course, corporate gifts are common, particularly among professional service providers. I’m sure you’ve received boxes of candy, coffee cups with a company logo, maybe even a fancy bottle of wine in a tote bag. (Most of these gifts are worth less than $25, the magic number as far as IRS deductibility is concerned.)

These promotional items work to retain connections and create goodwill, and that’s why businesses continue to include them in their marketing plans.

What Jacque does that is different, though, is to deliver gifts with an emergency preparedness theme!

A couple of years ago, when our part of the world experienced multiple deliberate power shut-offs because of fire danger, Jacque’s gift was a bright red battery-operated lantern! (Collapsible style)

red emergency lantern

Last year, after we’d been threatened by evacuation, she handed out emergency radios pre-tuned to the city’s AM emergency channel.

small emergency radio

And this year, she announced to me that for 2021 she wants to hand out “two or three of your mini-books” to help people get settled in their new home and feel more confident about what to expect in their new location.

We got together via Zoom and picked three (Shelter in Place, Custom Go-Bags and Power Outage) with two alternates. She placed her order and the books have already arrived! (I am eager to see how she packages them. Her gifts are always so stylish and tasteful!)

mini-series from Emergency Plan Guide

Emergency Preparedness gifts are a win-win promotion.

Of course, as author, I am proud to see my books being shared. And I earn a few pennies for every one sold.

But as a “Preparedness Activist,” I’m even more pleased. Getting people to take action has become our mission here at Emergency Plan Guide. Jacque’s clients and friends are a part of our community. The more prepared they are, the better off we will be, too!

Emergency Preparedness is a marketing message unique in our community. It can be a unique marketing message for your brand, too.

How can YOU take advantage of it to make your business stand out?

Joe and I stand by to join in a discussion of how you might offer tools or planning, discuss, gift or distribute emergency preparedness items to prospects, customers, and employees. There are many, many ways to turn your own expertise and this special interest into value for your business.

If you’d like to talk it over, send an email to get the conversation started!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Some links to items (similar to those) mentioned in the Advisory:

What’s YOUR Cyber Security Threat Level?


It may not be the Russians, but chances are increasing that “somebody” will try to hack into your home or business network over the next few months. Or weeks. Or days!

You’ll be smart to have a good understanding of your cyber security threat level.

The FBI reports cyber attacks have increased 300% since so many people started working from home! And these at-home offices are a new target for hackers. It’s not that you have so much valuable information within your own network or on your own devices — though you might. But if you have a connection to a corporate network, that’s what hackers will definitely be looking for!

Being fully aware of your cybersecurity threat level is probably not possible.

Even the experts have to keep learning, changing, shifting gears. You can get an idea of the playing field by reviewing 21 of the top security predictions for 2021 in this long and quite heavy-duty article from GovTech.

Since not all of us want to become experts ourselves (!), we have pulled excerpts from the GovTech article – and from several others on the same topic — and collected them here as a simple quiz. (Links in the quiz will take you to a few articles for more details.)

These questions cover basics of cyber security for your small home or business network. Can you answer all of them?

Feel free to review the questions and follow up on any of the links. When you’re finished, click here for a one-page downloadable PDF copy of the quiz. Share it with co-workers or your IT support team.

  1. Are you backing up essential business data on a regular basis? Storing it in more than one place, including in a secure cloud repository?
  2. Do you have comprehensive anti-virus software installed and updated?
  3. Have you set a policy regarding passwords for all home devices including cellphones – how to create, when to change? Alert! Passwords are phasing out; multi-factor authentication phasing in.
  4. Do you and your employees get regular training on network protection? That might include phishing attempts, email scams, automated downloads, fake technical support, unchecked USB files, etc.
  5. Do you distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable internet activity on your business computer? Have you set video conferencing security policies? Are policies spelled out? Do you monitor compliance?
  6. What steps have you taken to protect customer data? Is it password protected? Encrypted? Do you have a published privacy policy on your website?
  7. In case your network goes down, do you have alternate ways to contact customers, vendors, and employees? Are these crisis communications alternates already set up?
  8. Do you have a written disaster recovery plan that includes data protection? When was the last time you tested it to see if it works?
  9. Do you have insurance for cyber disaster and/or business interruption?
  10. Are you confident that you understand all security requirements associated with your industry and business  — licensing, personnel documents, financial records, customer files, contracts, etc.?

Disclaimer: At Emergency Plan Guide, we are not security experts, and the material here in our Cyber Quiz is meant for information only. It may not be complete, and does not constitute professional security advice.

But if you’re tempted to ignore it, you are raising your own threat level!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. What security stories do you have to share? Let us know! EVERY body will benefit!

Business Owner – Are You Personally Liable?

Business owner Worried about  personal liability for business
Vulnerable to a lawsuit?

This is one of my favorite topics. Or rather, it is one of the topics that I spend time researching. I am worried about busy business owners being held personally liable for not taking steps they should have taken to protect the business.

As we reach the end of 2020, the pandemic is absolutely raging. Cyberattacks threaten our government and a number of major U.S. corporations. The threat of lawsuit is more critical than it’s been in all the dozen years I’ve been maintaining this blog!

And as a business owner, your threat of being sued continues to intensify.

You could be sued by employees or customers who claim they got sick in your establishment. You could be sued by customers or shareholders who claim you didn’t protect confidential data. You’ve heard this saying: “You can be sued by anybody for just about anything.” Well, it seems true.

We are not lawyers. We aren’t saying you will get sued. We can’t keep you from being sued and we can’t help you if you do. Our goal is to raise some of the important preparedness issues that may serve to protect you. For sure, these are issues you need to be aware of.

It all starts with “The Prudent Man rule.”

The concept of “the prudent man” (or more likely today, “the prudent person”) is well established in the world of finance. It says that if an incident occurs, a money manager will be examined to see if he or she made the decisions that “a prudent man in the same position with the same training would make.” Often, those prudent decisions are closely tied to what might be considered “best practices.” If best practices have NOT been followed, then that manager might be held personally liable for negligence.

Today, the prudent man rule is being expanded.

This means your problems may be expanding, too. Three examples with important questions . . .

  1. With cybercrime increasing exponentially, what are considered “best practices” for information, cyber and network security continue to evolve. Are you keeping up with other “prudent people” in your industry as regards information security for your business?
  2. With health policies changing rapidly (even erratically) as a result of the coronavirus, is your business keeping up with regulations from OSHA, your state, county or city? Are you taking and documenting the steps that a prudent person in your similar business situation would take?
  3. Given this year’s economic upheavals, not just from the pandemic but from storms, wild fires and other disasters, have you updated your business continuity plan to include coping with all likely disasters? (Was “pandemic” even included in your previous plan? Have you included it in your updated plan?)

If your answer to any of the questions above is “No,” you could be personally liable if your business gets caught up in a lawsuit!

Unfortunately, keeping up with industry “best practices” isn’t easy. Here at Emergency Plan Guide we regularly attempt to bring readers’ attention to business-related issues, including those associated with cybercrime and even public health policies. Since we’re not specialists in either of these areas, this sort of information is tough to stay on top of. We do what we can.

However, we do feel confident reminding all our readers about building and updating their business contingency plans.

It’s an ongoing effort. Just like individual families, some businesses have an “exit plan” aimed at getting employees out of the building in an emergency. (OSHA requires such a plan if you have more than 50 employees.) But at least half of small businesses have no workable plan for getting back to work following an interruption. Even fewer — only about 30% — have even consulted with an insurance agency about business interruption insurance.

An emergency exit plan may save lives, but, the lack of Business Continuity and/or Disaster Recovery Plan means that there may not be a company to come back to. In that case, everybody loses . . . employees and their families, owners, investors, creditors and customers.

No-cost or low-cost help is readily available.

If you are concerned about being personally liable because your business doesn’t have a reasonable business continuity plan, you can start putting the pieces in place using some or several of these resources.

  • Many cities, in conjunction with FEMA and other local organizations, offer the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to residents, businesses and employees of businesses to help save lives and property in a disaster. Most classes are free and some actually issue equipment to aid in light search & rescue, triage, etc. (Lots more about CERT here.)
  • The American Red Cross offers classes and online information. Look at
  • The Small Business Administration provides an online guide for drafting a business continuity plan.
  • The Insurance Institute for Home and Business Safety® offers a guide to help small businesses stay open, called OFB-EZ. (“Open For Business – Easy”)
  • Many insurance companies offer documents and assistance in evaluating risk and risk mitigation efforts before helping you purchase any business interruption insurance. Start with a conversation with your own property insurance carrier.

Taking advantage of these services should be the logical first step for the “prudent” business owner. When you’ve done some research, or it you want to get right to creating your plan, consider our book:

Emergency Preparedness for Small Business

Emergency Preparedness for Small Business - Nicols and Krueger

We wrote this book for the busy, DIY business owner who isn’t ready to hand over planning to an outside consultant. The book trusts in-house expertise to build your plan and give employees “ownership.” Joe’s military experience led him to come up with the “file folder” approach that is so easy to delegate!

If you’ve been with us a while, you’ll recognize our straight-forward, step-by-step approach in Emergency Preparedness for Small Business. Plus there’s a companion WORKBOOK that will make it even easier for you to get started on your small business continuity plan. Click the links to go directly to Amazon for full details.

The resources listed here may not cover everything the business needs, but with them you will have made a solid start. Use your own industry experts to fill in any blanks about current “best practices.”

Going back to the Prudent Man rule, it says that a person making decisions for others can’t simply rely on what he or she knows. The Prudent Man will be held accountable for what he SHOULD know.

Don’t get caught on this one!

Joe Krueger and Virginia Nicols
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

Emergency Preparedness Quiz for Experts


Ready for Rain

OK, so you have been working for a while on being prepared for disasters. You’ve made it this far, and think you’re in pretty good shape, ready for whatever rain may fall! 

Maybe you even qualify as an expert?!

Last year Joe and I took an emergency preparedness quiz at a meeting sponsored by the Great American Shake-out. Sure enough, although we’ve been “Activists” for years, we were missing several key items!

That inspired me to put this quiz together for all the Emergency Plan Guide readers. (I’ve updated it for 2020, too.) The questions were gathered from a variety of sources. See how well you do! Score yourself at the end!

Emergency Preparedness Quiz

1-Is your house ready to take a hit from a disaster? Check if YES.

  • No heavy/dangerous items over the bed, couch or desk (or wherever you spend a lot of time).
  • Bookcases, TV, speakers, computers, printers, mirrors — bolted to table or to wall. Need a stud finder to finish this job?
  • Water heater and other appliances secured.
  • Outside of home squared away to protect against sudden fire (trash cleared away) or wind.
  • Home adequately insured for standard risks also local risks (flood, earthquake, etc.).

2-Does your family know how to respond to a natural or weather-related disaster? Check if YES.

  • Everybody knows and has practiced: Drop-Cover-Hold On (earthquake), Drop-Roll (fire). Grandma, too.
  • Family members know and have practiced 2 ways to get out of house: doors, windows, second floor. Can you get down the escape ladder?
  • Everyone knows where fire extinguishers are, and how to use them. How many fire extinguishers do you need, anyway? And are they all workable?
  • Adults know where water and gas shut-offs are, and when to shut them off. Tools attached near shut-off valves.
  • You have a back-up plan for pets if you’re not home. Decal on front door or window alerts emergency workers that you have a pet.
  • Everyone in the family has memorized out-of-town contact phone number.
  • Everyone who has a phone has a battery back-up (Power bank), knows how and to whom to text.

3-Are survival kits (72-hour kits) packed and ready to go?

  • Do all evacuation and survival kits have masks so you can operate within COVID guidelines?
  • A survival kit in the house for every family member, customized to size, skill, medical needs, etc.?
  • A kit for every pet?
  • A kit in each car?
  • A kit at work for every worker?

4-What about handling the immediate aftermath of a disaster?

  • Every room has emergency lighting – lantern and/or flashlight.
  • All first aid kits are fully stocked with up-to-date items.
  • We have at least one emergency radio (solar, hand crank, battery) tuned to local emergency station, with extra batteries.
  • Everyone has sturdy shoes for safely getting around, clothing/gloves to protect against cold or broken items. Pets have protective booties/jackets, too.
  • Supply of warm clothing, blankets.
  • Everyone knows ways to report in that they’re OK.

5-Are you prepared at work for the immediate aftermath of a disaster?

  • Every room has emergency lighting – lantern and/or flashlight.
  • First aid kits are fully stocked with up-to-date items.
  • Emergency radio tuned to local emergency station, with extra batteries.
  • Everyone has sturdy shoes for safely managing stairs, getting out. (Particularly important for female employees whose footwear may be stylish but impractical. Stash an extra pair of tennis shoes in the bottom drawer of the desk.)
  • Partners check on each other’s situation. People with disabilities have designated partners who know how to help them evacuate.
  • People responsible for shut-down or evacuation procedures step into action.
  • Everyone knows how to report in assuming phones are out.

6-How about an extended recovery at home after a disaster?

  • Supply of food that doesn’t need cooking. Can-opener. Utensils.
  • If camp stove, supply of food that uses hot water or heating. Fuel for stove. Fire igniter. Pot. (Have you practiced setting up and starting the stove? A challenge under the best of conditions!)
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, chilies, soy sauce, sugar, honey, other.
  • Water supply. Clean water supplies, a way to filter and/or disinfect other water.
  • Pet’s food, water and hygiene supplies.
  • Personal hygiene supplies: temporary toilet, toilet paper, wipes, paper towels, Clorox. Trash bags.
  • Personal supplies: lotion, bug repellent, sun screen, soap, sanitary supplies, condoms, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
  • Medicines and prescriptions for at least 2 weeks.
  • Clothing for cold, rain; ponchos, umbrellas.
  • Tools appropriate for making repairs: saw, hammer, nails, tape, plastic sheets, tarp, crow bar, ax, shovel, emergency lighting.
  • If someone can handle them and manage fuel: generator, chain saw.
  • Emergency two-way communications: walkie-talkies, ham radios.
  • Entertainment: books, games, cards, paper and pens.

(When it comes to extended recovery at work, that’s another quiz. It will be based on the type of work place, key functions of the business, number of employees, etc. Emergency Preparedness for Small Business can give you nearly all the guidance you’ll need to answer THAT quiz!)

7-And here’s a bonus emergency preparedness quiz item:

  • I’ve completed CERT training. (I know, CERT training is being postponed until we can get back to meeting face to face. But at least, you can put it on your to-do list!)

And your score on this Emergency Preparedness Quiz?

There are 41 questions in this quiz, plus the bonus. They don’t have equal importance, so there’s no real way to rate yourself based on the number of boxes you checked off.  Still, just in reading the quiz you should have a FEEL for whether you are:

  • Rookie – 10-15 check marks: A good start but still have a ways to go
  • Solid – 15-30 check marks: Comfortable with your progress; won’t feel (too) guilty if something happens
  • Expert – Anything above 30, plus the bonus! Heck, you should be teaching this stuff!

If you’re not actively “teaching this stuff,” you can use this emergency preparedness quiz to help yourself and other people you care about get started on their own preparations.

How to get started?

Start slowly — but get started!

Did some of these items jump out at you as being really important?

Start with just one or two. Work on a new one every week.

If you are part of a neighborhood group, maybe pick a couple of items to work on every month. (Our new Mini-Series was designed PERFECTLY for groups! Schedule one topic per week or per month, get people together — in person or via zoom — to discuss and share.)

Every small preparedness action you take will add to your family’s and your community’s resilience. Since your neighbors are most likely to be the people who end up rescuing you in a disaster, this step-by-step method has a double pay-off!

Let us know how it goes, and what YOU would add to the quiz to make it even more useful. We are all in this together!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team


Video Conferencing Best Practices

At-home video conferencing
“Gallery view” lets you see when people arrive — or leave.

“Stay connected” is the advice we hear these days. And it’s not just friendly advice. It’s a requirement for businesses that plan to stay in business!

Of course text messages and email generally work as well as they ever did. But because of the pandemic, business communications are turning to web and video conferencing – a market expected to grow by well over 100% in just this one year!

Whether you’re using video conferencing for daily business meetings or as a marketing tool to reach out to clients and prospects, get the results you expect by choosing the right platform for the job and following best practice guidelines. And stay tuned, because what’s considered “best” keeps evolving!

Use the right video conferencing platform for the job.

As you have surely discovered, well over two dozen popular video conferencing services are competing for place. That list includes Zoom, BlueJeans Meetings, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Skype, Google Hangouts – and the list goes on. One of my consultant friends reports that over the course of the workday he may find himself using several of them!

When you are joining . . .

as a meeting participant, all that’s required is that you click on the invitation link. You can join online via the platform’s website or you can download an app onto your cellphone or mobile device and join there. (Phone apps may be faster, but they only function on iOS or Android.) Either way, the platform that the host selected will automatically open.

If you’re the host of the meeting . . .

however, how do you know which platform to choose? Features you’ll want to consider as you plan your meetings:

  • Customer support. Particularly if you are a relative beginner, look for companies that offer strong training videos and 24/7 help desk. (You aren’t likely to get all the support you’d like on a free service.)
  • Budget. Several of the leading services offer a level of free service, with monthly plans that add more dollars for more features. You may want to start at that entry level and move up as you discover exactly what you need.
  • Size and length of meeting. Every platform has limits to the number of people allowed to attend the meeting and how long the meeting can run. (It’s a question of bandwidth. Too many connections can overload the capacity of the system.)
  • Number of meetings. Again, different levels have different limits, both on how many “hosts” from your company can be registered to use the platform and how many “participants” can fit into any given meeting. (I was at a meeting a week ago where attendance reached the maximum and the guest speaker, who was running late, couldn’t get in!  Not good!)
  • Ability to record. Not everyone can make every meeting, so it’s convenient for people to have access sometime later. (Recent statistics show that nearly 30% of people who sign up for webinar presentations miss the original schedule but show up later for a repeat!) Having a recording also allows people to go back and check the details of what was presented or what everyone said.
  • How much collaboration or interactivity. If you know you want to stream presentations on demand, share screens, share documents, interact with participants via surveys or monitored Q&A chat, etc., look specifically for “web conferencing” capabilities. Some apps don’t offer full interactivity. And while many of the popular platforms offer these services, it’s generally not part of the free level.

As you consider these features you may come up with more you want or need. But this list will get you started!

Be sure your meeting is secure.

Everyone needs to consider security when going online. Earlier this year some online meetings were “bombed.” Pranksters and/or more determined bad actors assaulted meetings with racist images, pornography, interruptions, loud music, etc.  Online teaching sessions (with young children) were particularly targeted.

“Bombing” has been declared a cybercrime, so incidents seem to have died down. At the same time, better security practices have arisen. Your company may already have instituted upgraded security practices. Here are standard recommendations you and your company should be familiar with:

  • At home, use a VPN for your online meetings. By default, your data will be encrypted. Keep all your home devices updated and running anti-virus and malware protection. In particular, change default passwords for your router and any home IoT devices. (Surely you have heard the stories of hackers taking over home security cameras – and business security cameras, too! Readily accomplished when people use the same password for multiple accounts or devices, or never update passwords!)
  • If you are hosting the meeting, use strong meeting platform passwords at every step and change them frequently. Never share a host pin or meeting passwords publicly.
  • Only invite people you want to attend, and restrict meetings to people who signed up in advance or who are otherwise authenticated.
  • Require participants to sign in for meetings and choose “Announce When User Enters” for all meetings. When everyone has arrived, “lock” the room.
  • Enable “Mute participants on arrival” if available to prevent interruptions. You may also want to disable the chat feature.
  • If you run meetings back to back, use a “Waiting room” feature which keeps a new meeting attendee from accidentally barging in on a meeting still in progress.

A new caution: Be sure to block your webcam (unplug a separate camera, or put a piece of tape over the built in camera) when you are not on a video call! Hackers may be watching everything you do and seeing everything in your work space!

Communicate effectively!

We’ve all attended or seen video conferencing episodes interrupted by charming children or pets. We can overlook these . . . but participants will not welcome a meeting that is disturbed by echoes, static, loud noises, telephones ringing, faces in shadow, etc. Set up your meeting for the best possible experience!

  • Manage the audio, above all else. The audio from most laptops is simply not good enough, and it gets worse the farther you are from the device. If possible, use a noise-reducing headset and microphone. (Hint from pro user: “Consider an over-the-ear headset with microphone boom — the type used by gamers are just as good and cost less than high-priced office versions!” See a sample here.) A separate microphone is also key if you expect to do any typing during the session; the integrated mic on a laptop will make the sound VERY loud for others in the meeting!
    I have a stand-alone camera, too, because I use a desktop set up with separate screen. Here you can see me with headphones and microphone, and my Logitech webcam.)
  • Light (at least YOUR face!) from the front. No windows behind you! If you can’t sit facing a window, set up soft lighting from a lamp. The light from a laptop screen usually shines upward – and it’s usually blue. Not attractive.
  • Position yourself directly in front of the screen. We’ve all seen interviews on TV where the speaker is looking down (through glasses?) at the computer screen — and we are looking up his nose.  Best way to get the effect you are looking for is to place your laptop at eye level on top of a box or even a stack of sturdy books.
  • Look professional. Even though you are at home, make the effort to dress professionally, comb your hair, and apply make-up as appropriate. Avoid clothing with stripes or patterns or large white spaces –they don’t translate well onto video! Professional also means making sure what’s behind you is simple and uncluttered – and no visible white board with confidential info on it! (Some platforms have “virtual backgrounds” that block everything behind you. Be sure to pick a virtual image that suits your audience!)
  • If you are the host, TEST and PRACTICE with a friend before your meeting to be sure your equipment is set up properly. Most programs have an audio and video test meeting you can play with. Test with mobile devices, too.
  • Schedule your family to avoid interruptions. Turn off your phone, silence alarms, send dogs and children out for a walk.
  • Manage your meeting with an agenda and a clock. Be sure to welcome everyone and go over any instructions about how to use the platform. Check that everyone knows how to “raise their hand” to ask questions or make comments. (Introverts can get lost if they don’t use these tools!) Have all your props or tools at hand so you don’t have to get up to get them.
  • Have a glass of water handy – but not too near your keyboard! — in case your throat gets dry!

You may never have imagined being “on camera,” with everyone’s eyes on you. It may be intimidating — at first! But get used to it, because there’s no doubt that video meetings are here to stay.

As with any new skill, the more you practice, the more confident you’ll be. You can start practicing today using a free trial from one of the video conferencing companies mentioned above.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. If you are working from home, guidelines for effective presentations may be just that — guidelines. But best practices for security really shouldn’t be considered optional. Share this info with co-workers. Be sure your online communications aren’t inadvertently exposing the company to a cyber threat.

Heading back to work

checklist updated for pandemic
Our checklist has been updated. Have you updated your plan?

If you are like most business owners and employees in America, your company is somewhere on the line between “still shut” to “fully operational.” Many of your employees heading back to work, even if they are healthy, may be struggling with finances, transportation, and home schooling. These are unsettling times, in large part because the pandemic was so totally unexpected.

“Who would ever have guessed we’d have a pandemic?!”

If you watch the news, you’ve probably heard that statement a few times. But what I have heard hanging around online with emergency managers goes a little differently.

“Every good business continuity plan does have “pandemic” on its list of threats!”

Of course, just being on the “list of threats” doesn’t mean it gets included in the plan with full details. Still, having planned for a half-dozen or so of the most LIKELY threats puts your business on much stronger footing when ANY disaster hits.

So while we’re all dealing with heading back to work, it makes sense to once again revisit . . .

The role of emergency preparedness in the workplace.

Here at Emergency Plan Guide we address preparedness for small business in about 25% of our Advisories. We included a book on emergency preparedness for small business in our Neighborhood Disaster Survival series.

We think that business has the potentially most important role of all in improving community-wide resilience! You can click here to read more about why we think that.

Right now, however, businesses need to get their people back to work.

Part of heading back to work includes updating the business continuity plan.

We revisited our own Business Continuity Plan Checklist to help you with that update.

How to use the Business Continuity Plan checklist.

The full checklist is simple. It consists of just 20 steps. The first one is to go through the list and give each step in your current plan a “grade” as to how completely that step has been done. (We include a few hints in a couple of pages of accompanying notes.)

I’d print out several copies and share with selected leaders or senior managers. Have each person grade the company plan separately. Then get together and compare notes. This may be an eye-opening experience!

The checklist is a tool, not a plan.

It can serve two purposes. First, it can help you identify weaknesses in your existing continuity plan. Second, if you don’t have a plan yet, it may give you a push to get started.

You can download the full Checklist here and have it ready to go on Monday.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S.  Our country has been severely shaken by an emergency most people hadn’t planned for. If ever there were a time to take another look at the value of your business continuity plan, this should be it. Of course, planning doesn’t keep bad things from happening. But planning can help get you through unexpected events. This is an important time.

Emergency Preparedness for Meeting Planners

Emergency preparedness for meeting planners
This your meeting? Are you ready — for food poisoning, an accident, fire?

It’s a rare business that doesn’t host a meeting once in a while. While businesses are shut down as a result of the pandemic, this list may not apply! But as soon as you get back to face-to-face meetings, it will. So hang on to it!

Your meeting might be for marketing or educational purposes, or maybe to celebrate a holiday or having reached a company milestone.

Whatever the purpose, if you are the meeting planner, you have a long to-do list to be sure everything goes as planned. Even the simplest meeting needs decisions made about date and time, venue, food, invitations, theme and decorations, sign-in procedures, advertising and publicity, entertainment, audio-visual, vendors, etc.  

Our question for today:

Does your meeting to-do list include planning for emergencies?

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that we are constantly on the lookout for good emergency preparedness resources. And we look not just for ideas for family planning, but also for small business and, in particular, for neighborhood teams.

This Advisory will be useful for all three groups. But it is particularly vital for businesses, because . . .

If something goes badly wrong at your business meeting, and you could have prepared for it, you will be blamed. And you may be sued.

Please note: we are not attorneys, and this Advisory is not meant to give legal advice. Please consult with qualified professionals for detailed recommendations for your business and your meeting.

As you get ready to meet with those professionals, being ready with questions will save time and money. Here are some questions to start with.

1 – Is there a law that we must have a disaster preparedness plan for every meeting?

At Emergency Plan Guide we have never found a legal requirement on emergency preparedness for meeting planners. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t one!  Your professional advisers may have found it. Ask.

But at the same time we have read enough horror stories to know that people sue no matter what

They may claim that you should have let them know in advance that it was a dangerous neighborhood, that the venue was open to access from outside, that there was no internet security, that a storm was threatened, that medical aid was not immediately available, etc., etc. They will claim you were negligent.

2 – How do we protect ourselves if there is no clear-cut law?

Recent well-known lawsuits seem to have revolved around the legal concept of “Duty of Care.” The Legal Dictionary at defines Duty of Care this way: “a requirement that a person act toward others and the public with the watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would use. “

There’s a second legal term we also see connected with this same topic: “Standard of Care.” It is closely tied to “Duty of Care.” 

Basically, this is the “standard” that a reasonable person with the same qualifications would follow in a similar circumstance. As you might imagine, a professional would have a higher standard than a non-professional.

Here’s the challenge. adds:  “The problem is that the “standard” is often a subjective issue upon which reasonable people can differ.”

Not too helpful! 

Still, we already know that it just makes sense to prepare for emergencies to the best level you can.

3 – So what does a reasonable person do when planning a meeting?

These are my recommendations. They are similar to preparing for emergencies in your own home or business.

I see these as basic steps:

  • Evaluate your OWN level of preparedness. Who from your company will be there, what skills do they have, how ready will they be to respond to an emergency? What gaps do you find?
  • Identify risks for this particular event: geographic location and specific room or building, threats from weather and/or people (attendees or outsiders), security issues, availability of emergency medical personnel, cyber-security policies, firearms policies, alcohol policies, etc.
  • For each risk, confer with your business partners and then decide on who will respond and how. Make it clear who is responsible for what. Will any of the partners need to budget for additional personnel or equipment? List whom to call and all names and numbers. Decide who will interact with the news media or other officials, etc.
  • Confirm appropriate insurance coverages, yours and your meeting business partners.  
  • Write down and update your plan. Document your planning meetings. Share your decisions as appropriate in your marketing materials, since attendees deserve to know you have considered their safety in your planning. Document how everything went at the meeting.

This written document shows that you were attentive, prudent and thorough. This can be your very best protection against claims of negligence.

More resources on emergency preparedness for meeting planners

A while ago I attended a 2-hour training session sponsored by Meetings Today. The title was: Risk Management – Best Practices for Meetings and Events. The presenter, Brenda Rivers, also put out a 30-minute podcast on the Duty of Care. You may be able to find the podcast here:

Meetings Today has also published a comprehensive template for meeting planners. If you have any responsibility for planning meetings, you may wish to download it for future reference. Here’s the link:

If you consider yourself to be a professional meeting planner, or just an enthusiastic meeting planner, please find out more about this topic!

Best of luck,

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Joe and I consider ourselves “enthusiastic meeting planners.”  Together, we have been responsible for literally hundreds of meetings for professional associations, Rotary International, neighborhood outreach for energy efficiency, and, of course, our local emergency response group. You can find one of our neighborhood group meeting planning Advisories here, recently updated.

And if you’re serious about putting on a successful meeting, check out this book from Alex Genadinik. There are a number of books available about planning events, of course, including those on starting a business as an event planner. I recommend this one because of Genadinik’s marketing emphasis.

Getting the Message Out to Neighbors While Shut In


I started this Advisory as a piece on “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” It was a reflection of the importance of communicating these days in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. But I decided that theme would focus too much on “evil,” so I dialed back to “getting the message out.”

Certainly, our ways of communicating have changed! Here are three events from just the past week that relate to getting the message out. I wanted to share them to see whether they parallel some of what you’ve been experiencing.

1 – “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.” Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream

Wednesday I was part of a conference call. Big deal, you yawn. Everybody knows that conference calls, and particularly Zoom calls, are the way communications are taking place these days.

But this one was different, because it was a call among members of our community who are blind or visually impaired.

Think about that for a moment.

If you can’t see well, you certainly can’t see those Blue Angels streaking across the TV screen, much less across the sky. You can’t binge on Hulu or Netflix. Even when your children call, all you may get is their voices – no smiling faces or gurgling babies, or whatever images would be showing on FaceTime.

People with vision problems are often isolated anyway. We have a group that meets every month, just to give friends a chance to get out and get together safely.

Because of the coronavirus, of course, our meetings have been cancelled.

So yesterday’s UberConference® call was a new experience – and the first time most of these senior citizens had been on such a call.

The call turned out to be a home run!  

Everyone figured out how to get aboard (Dial, type in the call ID number), handled “mute” and “unmute” at the right time (“Press star twide”).  

Best of all, friends whom we normally see/hear only at a monthly meeting got a chance to hear each other’s voices! We laughed and laughed at the stories people told –

  • “My son came to visit and went shopping for us. He seems to have forgotten that we are just two people, because he came home with a gallon of sour cream and 10 pounds of pasta!”
  • “I’m glad I’ve retired from teaching! I had enough trouble with this call. I don’t know how I would have managed the “online learning” technology.”
  • “As I heard your voices, I pictured you all sitting around the table at our usual meeting.  Then it hit me — we are all in separate houses!!”

So, this was a first – and now, something we will use again. This truly was a message of love looking “with the mind.”  Who do you know who might appreciate being able to join in a group call?

2 – “Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you won’t be invited to cocktail parties.” ~ Oscar Wilde

I couldn’t resist this quote and had to fit it into this Advisory! It’s a bit off the topic, but hey. We’re sharing ways of communicating, right?

So here’s another communications first, one you can share in.

Just about a month ago, one of my emergency preparedness contacts on LinkedIn asked if Joe and I would do a podcast for his “radio station.”

“When I saw you had published a book on how to build community preparedness, I knew I wanted to hear the story,” said Preston Schleinkofer. President and Founder of Civil Defense Virginia.

Preston has developed his own program to encourage more community members to join in with local government authorities to “preserve safety, security and constitutional government functions” in the case of natural disasters and man-made catastrophes. (Us oldsters will recognize that Preston has come up with a new definition for “Civil Defense.”)

You can read about Preston’s 501©3 organization at and get more about his philosophy of Continuity of Community. You can also hear the interview he did with Joe and me at! You’ll see Emergency Plan Guide right there at the top of his list of podcasts!

What helps get communities to work together?

As we listened to our voices (always a sort of out-of-body experience) I heard us identifying some of what has helped us build our local neighborhood groups. In the past you’ve heard how we based our organizing on CERT. But we also brought our own background to the table. Namely:

  • Both Joe and I have done door-to-door selling! (There’s nothing like it for building self-confidence.)
  • Both of us have trained and taught students, employees, and professional colleagues.

Since we’re both writers, too, it has been a natural for us to translate our 20 years of business and community experiences into some do-it-yourself guide books. The first series was to help communities improve their level of preparedness. Our newest series is aimed at personal preparedness.

As Preston says, “Everyone is more of a preparedness expert now, as a result of the coronavirus.”  I invite you to take a listen to all of his podcasts for info about even more emergencies we ought to be concerned with, including grid failure from electromagnetic pulse.

3 – “Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” Margaret Atwood,The Handmaid’s Tale

Earlier this week the White House rejected CDC guidelines aimed at getting the message out about how best to manage a phased re-opening of the economy. Apparently the guidelines were “too prescriptive.”

Sorry, but I read “too prescriptive” as “too hard for ordinary Americans to understand and follow.”

So the guidelines have been removed from the CDC website!  (Go there looking for them and you get an “Oops, can’t find that!” message.)

With thousands of people dying every day, I believe that most of us would WANT the chance to see some expert information to make our lives safer. Dumbing it down just doesn’t make sense to me – that is “working” at ignoring, as Margaret Atwood says.

I hope these three examples of “getting the message out” have inspired you as we continue to cope with this astonishing historical development, the COVID-19 pandemic. What can you add about communicating?

Your Emergency Plan Guide team