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Emergency Preparedness for Businesses

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Emergency preparedness for businesses​​​Ready Business

Ready Business is a program designed to help businesses in Calgary prepare for emergencies. 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 a power outage that only affects a few businesses. It’s important to ensure your business is prepared to handle the next interruption! The following is a list of steps you can take now to get your business ready:​​​​​​

Step 1

Stay connected

Sign up for the Calgary Chamber’s Emergency Business Contact Database (EBCD) to receive relevant emergency business information.

This database facilitates communication and collaboration between CEMA and the local business community during emergencies and disasters. In the event of an emergency or disaster, the database will share timely and important business information. This database is a free tool that is available to all businesses in Calgary and Southern Alberta. Sign up today​!

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Step 2

Know the types of emergencies that could impact your business

Knowing what to before an emergency happens can reduce the impacts it may have on a business and may reduce the stress of the situation for a business owner. Knowing what risks exist in Calgary will empower you to take appropriate actions to protect your business. Learn about the most common types of emergencies in Calgary and how they might impact your business through the Disaster Risk Explorer​. Below are some examples of different emergencies and relevant questions for your business to consider:

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Severe weather

(snow storms, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, flooding)

  • 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? If you are at risk for flooding, ask about the appropriate insurance coverage.
  • Do you have sufficient limits of insurance for your property and contents?
  • Are your company vehicles insured against hail damage?

Infrastructure

(electrical or gas outages, sour gas leaks, chemical spills or releases)

  • What would you do if the power went out?
  • Do you & your staff know how to handle hazardous material spills at work?
  • Do your employees know how to shelter-in-place?
  • Is everyone aware of where the muster point is in case of an evacuation?

Operational

(supply chain, transportation, IT, tele-communications disruptions)

  • 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?
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Personnel

(influenza, pandemic)

  • 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 employees.
  • Do you know if your business has a plan to manage an infectious disease outbreak? Consider the following tips listed here​.

Security

(theft, vandalism, fraud)

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​​​​​​​
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Step 3

Make a business continuity 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 a strategy for an alternate office location.

What is business continuity?
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.

Why should I have a plan?
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. Non-profit organizations should also consider their preparedness and business continuity plans. Read our business continuity brochure for non-profit organizations​​.

How do I make one?
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.

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Step 4

Educate employees on emergency preparedness

​A company’s employees are one of its greatest assets, and your business will be in a better position to handle the next disruption if your employees are prepared for an emergency.

Ensure that employees are prepared for emergencies both at home and at work. Information about personal preparedness can be found through the Ready Calgary program. It is important for employees to understand the risks in Calgary, how to prepare themselves and their families, know what to do during an emergency and know what to expect after an emergency. When your employees are prepared in their personal lives, this will allow them to come back to work sooner to help the business recover after an emergency.

Still want to know more? Contact ReadyCalgary@Calgary.ca​ to inquire about the program or to schedule someone to speak to your staff about how they can be personally prepared for emergencies.

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