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Your small business during an emergency

While it is not always possible to avoid emergencies, you can limit the impact of a disaster on your business . You will be better prepared to handle a disruption to your business if you know the risks and have a plan in place beforehand.

There are a number of hazards in Calgary. These hazards include:

  • Severe weather
  • Damage to infrastructure
  • Operational disruptions
  • Impacts on personnel
  • Security risks

Severe weather
Severe weather

Like the rest of Calgary, your business may be at risk of experiencing weather-related disruptions, such as snow storms, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes or flooding. Severe weather has the potential to cascade into other disruptive events such as power outages and road closures. Different severe weather events have unique impacts and may require specific planning. Start your planning today.

Questions to think about:

  • Do you know if your property is at risk for flooding? You can use this interactive map to determine if your property is located in a floodway.
  • Are your company vehicles insured for hail damage?

Infrastructure
Infrastructure

Other possible risks to your business include gas outages, electrical outages, sour gas leaks and chemical release incidents. To be better prepared when disaster strikes, learn more about how to handle hazardous materials spills at work.

Questions to think about:

  • What would you do if the power went out?
  • Do your employees know how to shelter-in-place?
  • Do you have a muster point in case of an evacuation?

Operational
Operational

Operational interruptions such as supply chain, transportation, IT, and telecommunications disruptions, can severely affect your business operations. These risks are largely outside of your control, but you can reduce their impact by having a plan.

Questions to think about:

  • If your supply chain experienced a disruption, would you know how long you could continue to operate for? If your supplier experiences a disruption and is unable to deliver supplies, it is ideal to have a secondary supplier in place to ensure the continuity of operations.
  • Do you have a backup of important files in a secure location?
  • If your phones stopped working, how would you manage?

Personnel
Personnel

Post handwashing signs to promote safety and prevent the spread of illnesses such as the flu. Promote proper handwashing and encourage employees to sanitize shared vehicles and workstations regularly.

Questions to think about:

  • What would you do if your employees were unable to come to work during a pandemic?
  • During flu season, how would you prevent the spread of the flu at work? Visit Alberta Health Services to find immunization information for employers.
  • What would you do if a significant number of employees were unable to come to work during a severe storm? How would you make sure they’re all safe? Are they able to work from home?

Security
Security

Your business may be vulnerable to risks that are less easy to spot than a power outage or flood. Small businesses are prone to theft, vandalism, and fraud. Learn more about security, online crime, email safety and mobile device safety from the Calgary Police Service.

Due to fewer resources, small businesses are especially vulnerable to fraud. Learn more about how to prevent becoming a victim of economic crimes such as fraudulent cheques. To report any type of fraud or theft, call 403-266-1234.

Questions to think about:

 
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