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Prepare your business for an emergency

​Many businesses require additional preparation to deal with a major event or disruption. A disruption could be a major disaster affecting the entire city or it could be as simple as a power outage. Sign up for the Calgary Chamber’s Emergency Business Contact Database (EBCD) to receive relevant emergency business information and review this page to get started on disaster planning for your business.

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Know the types of emergencies that could impact your business

Knowing what to do beforehand can reduce the stress of an emergency situation for a business owner. See the most common types of emergencies in Calgary and consider how they might impact your business. Below are some examples of emergencies and questions to consider:


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  • 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?
  • Do you know if your property is at risk for flooding? You can use this interactive map to determine if your business is located in a floodway.
  • Does your insurance policy safeguard your business against severe weather damage?
  • Are your company vehicles insured for hail damage?
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  • ​Do you know how to handle hazardous materials spills at work?
  • 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?
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  • If your supply chain experienced a disruption, how long could you 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?
  • Do you use an online system to pay your employees?
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  • 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.
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Make an emergency action plan for your business

Having a business continuity plan in place will minimize the impact of a disruption on business activities. By making a plan, you will have a better understanding of the risks your business could face and will be better equipped to deal with various hazards. This might include having an alternative strategy for your office location.

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Business continuity is about understanding the risks your business could face, and developing strategies and plans to ensure continued operation during and after a disruption.

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A business continuity plan will give you the best chance of staying open for business during a disruption, and will make it easier to resume normal operations afterward. Among many other benefits, a plan will reduce the losses you might experience during a disruption. You will also improve your dealings with banks, creditors, investors and insurers by showcasing your appetite for business resilience.

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Download our Business Continuity Handbook to walk through the steps of analyzing your business, assessing the risks, developing strategies, as well as making and exercising your plan. You can also download the Business Continuity Template and fill it in using the supporting Reference Guide. These documents will walk you through the entire process of business continuity planning.

Emergency alerts

How would your business learn about emerging risks and potential emergency situations? Find out about alerts that are issued to warn people about potential risks to their health and safety.

Learn more​​​​​​​

Educating employees on emergency preparedness

​A company’s employees are its greatest asset, and your business will be better off if your employees are prepared for an emergency.

Ensure that employees are prepared at home and at work - Encourage employees to have a 72-hour emergency kit at home, a “go-bag” at work, and an emergency response plan. Minimize risks in the workplace by keeping a First Aid kit and an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the premises. To ensure that employees know how to use them, consider offering First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses. You can also direct employees to learn more about being prepared for an emergency at home.

Have an evacuation plan - If you had to evacuate your workplace, would your employees know where to go? Make an evacuation plan and ensure that it is posted in a visible location for all employees. Holding fire drills every month is a good way to make sure all employees know how to evacuate the building.

Prevent the spread of illness - You can prevent the spread of illnesses such as the flu by promoting proper hand washing and encouraging employees to sanitize shared vehicles and workstations regularly. Visit Alberta Health Services to find immunization information for employers.

Small business and non-profits

Due to fewer resources, small businesses are especially vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and fraud. Learn more about security, online crime, email safety and mobile device safety. To report any type of fraud or theft, call 403-266-1234.

Non-profit organizations should also consider their preparedness and business continuity plans. Read our business continuity brochure for non-profit organizations.