How secure is your job?


Small business no emergency planGot a flyer in the mail, today. On the front, this statistic:

  • 94% of small business owners believe a disaster could seriously disrupt their business within the next two years!

And then, reading on a bit further:

  • 74% of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan.
  • An estimated 40% of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster.

So if you own or work for a small business, let me ask you,

Just how secure do you think your job is?!

The chances that you DO work for a small business are pretty good. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011 99.7 percent of all businesses had fewer than 500 workers, and 89.8 percent of them had fewer than 20 workers!

So combine the statistics from the flyer with the statistics from the government, and you can see why I am addressing this message to the small business owners and employees in the big bucket.

Disaster Preparedness Academy

But back to the flyer that started this off. It is a promotion for a 2-day conference being held in October in Anaheim, California (home of Disneyland – one of the sponsors).

The DPA has been in business for some 30 years; this year’s Academy presents 23 workshops in eight tracks.  Two of the tracks are specifically for business: Workplace Preparedness and Workplace Recovery. 

Some of the sessions for business:

  • Communicating the Unexpected “through the chaos”
  • Maximizing Your Disaster Cost Recovery; Lessons from Joplin, MO. (“Cost recovery can last years . . .”)
  • Where Do Your Emergency Management Professional Skills Stack Up? (“Are you beginning, intermediate or advanced?”)

Other tracks include Seismic Safety, Terrorism/Active Shooter and School/University Preparedness.

Now, I would certainly attend this conference if they offered a “trade show floor only” ticket.  (That’s often the most valuable part of any conference, in my opinion!) The list of presenters – 27 of them – is impressive, and the cost is reasonable: under $250 for the two days.

Getting out of the big bucket

But the question I have for you today is . . .

What is YOUR business doing to get out of the big bucket that is NOT prepared, and into the smaller bucket – that is, the bucket of businesses that have emergency plans, have invested in emergency supplies, and practice emergency training on a regular basis?

If you think you’re still in the big bucket, there’s a lot you can do, even if you don’t own the business. For example, you can . . .

  • Find out about conferences being held in your local area and ask if someone from the company is attending. If not, ask if you can attend.
  • Sign up on your own for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training either with a local group or online. If you can get a whole team interested, they may put on a course just for your company!
  • Download our Emergency Plan Guide Seven-Steps poster, talk it up and post it up in the coffee room.

Something’s going to happen one of these days.

At the risk of being too blunt, I can say that you will feel pretty dumb if you have done nothing to prepare your company to survive an emergency.  And you’ll feel even worse when you and your family discover you are out of a job.

Let’s work on creating awareness and action together. Let us know what YOU are doing this week to raise the issue of emergency preparedness at work by leaving a comment in the box!

We are ALL looking forward to what you have to say!

Virginia Nicols
Your Emergency Plan Guide team



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