We all know the basics of an earthquake, but did you know that it’s often the shaking and rolling of the earth after the quake has occurred that can cause the most damage? When businesses and residences think that the world is settling back to stillness, the earth can still shake and roll, and it’s this that can continue the interruption of businesses across the board. Destroyed inventory, evacuation orders and power outages are all contributors to business interruption. Your business should be able to get back up again after an earthquake, with support to your employees.
Your staff may also be dealing with getting their homes and families on their feet when you are recovering after an earthquake and may not get back into work right away. It’s important that you have a plan in place for getting back to business and preparing for any other earthquakes that could occur. With this in mind, here are some of the things that you can do to ensure continuation of your business after a quake.
- An Action Plan. It’s vital that you have a plan in place to keep your business communications moving, even when a powerful earthquake strikes. These plans should be updated and practiced properly, and the staff need to be aware of the plans, too. Once a crisis management team is activated, you can get an understanding of the damage done to the work site. Your team could assess which furniture and technology requires replacement, and whether the effective seismic racks you bought were as effective as advertised! Earthquake management is not always easy, but if you have known expectations surrounding aftershocks and recovery, it’s much easier to manage with everyone on the same page.
- Employee & Asset Protection. Your staff should be your main priority. You need to ensure that everyone is safe, and that means providing immediate assistance to those affected before you look at your assets. Having a back up plan and equipment ready for employees to work from home while you turn to the buildings will help you to remain balanced in your efforts to recover smoothly. Bring in the crisis experts and ensure that any damage sustained to your building is correctly logged. This includes checking the foundations, as visible cracks are not the only threat to your business. There is so much potential for further losses, which is why gas pipes and resulting fires need to be assessed and isolated. Keep communicating with your employees and make them aware of your plan going forward to get the business back on its feet.
- Humanitarian Plan. You need to have a plan and budget for helping your staff and their families, especially those who have lost their own properties for a while. If you cannot provide financial help, emotional help is often appreciated by your staff.
- Continuing Business. Safety first, and once you have addressed all of the safety issues, you can keep your business running and continue things that you’ve been doing before. Determine the process for continuing your activities as a business and ensure that you include the availability of networks and communications to support your plan.