Disaster Readiness for Business and Organizations
Without a "Company Survival Plan" You Could Lose Everything
Ready to turn your buildings and business into a small fortress? Key reasons for putting your employees first and helping meet their needs, as well as their families, in a major crisis or disaster... so all of you can survive.
by Patrick Whalen and Mark Lawrence, Copyright © SecretsofSurvival.com
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18 Essential Items for Your Get Home Bag
Why everyone, including kids, needs a thoroughly packed Get Home Bag. Riots, looting, and disaster can unfold at anytime -- what to do and what to carry in your Get Home Bag when the objective of the day is to survive. How does your Get Home Bag measure up?
How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization
Total social breakdown. Major cities gone. How will you survive in a land with no government or local police? Communities, survivors left to fend for themselves.
When disaster strikes, there are organizations that are well equipped, trained, and ready to rush forward into danger in order to provide valuable rescue and recovery services. Agencies such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross train extensively to deploy life-saving services to areas unprepared for such events. The quick and immediate response by personnel trained in disaster relief can very well mean the difference between death and survival, especially in more severe situations.
And then there's the big disasters Depending upon the degree of destruction in a storm or other such disaster, the response time to be able to reach victims varies greatly. For this reason the Salvation Army and Red Cross go to great measures to identify shelters and stage essential survival supplies within or near communities. The logistics required to be ready to meet any need at any location in such a large geographic area is a monumental task. Sometimes they get it right and they are on the ground helping victims with crucial services and supplies as soon as it is safe to do so.
Some disasters prevent disaster relief -- you're on your own Other times though the condition and situation of a problem can hinder an immediate response. Vital roads can be blocked, damaged, or even completely destroyed which can prevent access to areas in need of assistance, or seriously slow it down.
In such a case, the national and state military forces are periodically called upon to deliver resources by helicopter or other vehicles more suited towards accessing areas that are cut off. (As long as they have working equipment that is, and working communications.)
Poor conditions and bureaucracy can slow down relief efforts If conditions are too poor, it can take several hours and possibly days to organize due to the unfortunate reality of bureaucratic red tape and the time required to stage equipment, materials and personnel. At the same time, poor communications can put relief efforts in the wrong places, or simply far from where your company or business is located.
In certain circumstances those first few hours or days without help are crucial to survival.
That's why your business or organization should be prepared with a disaster plan and several days, or even weeks, worth of supplies beforehand.
Your business or organization is on the front lines
It is because of this understanding that many individuals and groups have gained valuable insight to the potential problem of prompt and adequate response.
Responsible business owners and those who run organizations of any kind should realize that they will have no future if their employees do not survive the disaster that has struck.
If its already in your training manual and you have a rehearsed policy in place for disaster response, then your business or organization has a greater chance of making it through a major disaster.
Insurance can't bring back the dead
You might have the property insurance to cover equipment and buildings, but insurance can't bring back the dead -- we're talking about the employees that make your business operate.
Disaster readiness protects you and your employees
The enlightened few who have taken it upon themselves to gather essential supplies in safe and secure areas as well as receive training in emergency preparedness and basic medical care are ahead of the pack. Widescale disaster has caused many businesses to close up shop for good, either unable to rebuild, or they've lost everyone on staff, or everyone has simply left.
Develop a "Company Survival Plan"
We are recommending today that you as a business owner consider the wisdom of preparing your business location to be able to temporarily house employees as well as have large quantities of food and water on site, as well as back up generators, on site fuel, and a plan for keeping your location secure in the days and weeks following a massive disaster that reaches multiple states.
Commercial generator for backup power
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An investment in a generator built for commercial use can help ensure you have immediate electricity following a loss of power, especially when that loss of power is expected to last several days.
Have a plan for serious energy conservation
To get the most use from your commercial generator, it is absolutely essential that you develop a plan for running your business at a much lower watt capacity following a disaster; that includes everything from heat / AC (don't use it) to lighting, to the size of computers and servers you're running. This will allow you to greatly extend the life of the fuel you need to have on hand to power your generator.
What if you're an internet company?
Ask your network techs about ways you can suspend applications while only running your internet operations in a bare-bones manner. Realize that servers and websites that deal in large amounts of bandwidth can use the majority of your company's daily electricity. Determine ways that some or most of these operations can be suspended for a period of time and how smaller servers can then be brought online, so that electric use is reduced to a fraction of what it normally uses in everyday operations.
Preparations for loss of the power grid: Protect Backup Equipment
In the day and age we live, and the enormous amount of threats to the nation's power grid (hacker event, EMP, solar flare, etc.) it is a bit short sighted to only invest in a generator and an emergency plan. Today's threats and understanding of just how fragile the power grid is calls for not only investing in a generator and on-site fuel, but also ways to protect your generator from the effects of an EMP (there is tons of data on Faraday Cages, which protect sensitive equipment from EMP so that it can be used following an EMP event, and we've covered this elsewhere on SecretsofSurvival.com).
Make plans to minimize electricity usage
You also will need to know how much power your company will draw operating in a bare-bones manner vs how much electricity your generator can produce and for how long. It is too much data to cover here and thankfully it is something that a company that specializes in emergency power will be able to walk you through. If you compare the cost of contracting a local company to sell to you and install your equipment, vs paying for your equipment online and then adding on professional installation into the purchase price, you may be able to save thousands of dollars vs a local contractor.
The Generac Commercial Series Liquid Cooled Generator for example offers professional installation with the purchase price. The question to ask of course is just how much you can save purchasing equipment online to what a local contractor might charge you if you purchase equipment and installation through them?
Beware of expensive equipment prices and expensive installation
Keep in mind that a local contractor is probably going to up sell you on whatever equipment you purchase (they likely want to make money on the equipment you buy) while at the same time possibly giving you lower performing equipment (so that they can make more money on the equipment they've sold you).
The unfortunate reality is that for contractors to make money in business, they typically have to charge fees at every angle, whether selling a house or in this case a commercial generator with installation.
What's your best course of action? Become your own contractor, and purchase the equipment yourself, then sub-contract the installation to a company or person that will do the work for a lot less money.
You can always start small
It may be more economical, depending on the layout of your business, to run it using several smaller residential generators
. For smaller companies especially, the logistics and training for a commercial generator and making it work following an EMP event would be too intensive for some.
Put your employees and backup power system to the test
The last step is to put your equipment and installation to the test, perhaps spend an entire week ensuring that you can enable your backup power system to come online, as intended.
We advise you to keep it stored in seperate pieces and protected by any number of "DIY" Faraday Cages recommended by engineers who have studied the EMP threat and written books on readiness, and then to be trained on equipment assembly (ensuring you can plug in the correct wires to the correct ports) so that your generator is ready to go and start producing power to your backup computer systems and lights (which also need to be protected from EMP, if you want these to work for you).
Have your own employees trained by generator installer
If you can budget it, it would be wise to have at least two people on staff (including yourself if you can set aside the time) be thoroughly trained on bringing your emergency power systems online following a disaster. Remember, if your business is at ground zero, and the person who is trained in the operation of a commercial generator loses his or her life, you're going to need a second person to bring your emergency power systems online, and maybe even yourself.
Without your employees, can you remain open for business?
Unfortunately most people are unaware of the very real dangers that major disasters create for a business or organization. Most companies will be forced to close up shop if they lose key personnel or simply because key personnel has no reason to return to work due to more pressing matters.
Prepare for employees to shelter in place on site
Keep in mind this: If you can provide a safe place to stay, with ample supplies of emergency food and water, employees who live nearby can shelter in place at your business, even retrieving their families earlier that day (many who are probably not prepared for any kind of disaster), and now your business or organization can continue to operate in the wake of the disaster that has taken place. Plus you will have people on site, which can help detour looters from otherwise raiding your business that first night and taking just about everything you have.
Open doors to your employees' families to shelter in place also
If your employees have a spouse and children in the midst of a disaster, those employees may leave and never return. Their family is more important than their job. So, having a company plan to invite your employees to bring their families to your business, in the wake of disaster, may be the best move to make as part of your company's survival plan.
Not having a policy like this in place can be a very serious oversight. The worst time to decide what to do and how to survive is after a disaster. If help does not come soon enough, or you have no means for your employees to safely shelter in place at your business, what option is left for your employees other than to flee in panic and go elsewhere for relief services?
Remember, the biggest disasters effect the largest numbers of people and infrastructure and there simply are not enough relief agencies and supplies to go around. That is exactly why your business can end up on the front lines.
Why prep your business? Disasters often strike during the work week
When you consider your personal preparedness, your goal is to be prepared at home and or a bug-out location, but a disaster could strike at any time. Most of us spend a greater number of hours during the day at a place of employment and/or commuting back and forth -- thus the importance of a Get home bag
Remember 9-1-1? The most shocking terrorist attack in U.S. history took place on just an ordinary morning of a typical work week, after most people in New York City were either on their way to work or had already clocked in for the day. The likelihood, therefore, of disaster striking while you and your employees who may also prep are at work and away from those precious supplies back at home is rather high.
What are your most valuable assets? People
It is important for business owners and executives to identify what they may believe their company's most valuable assets to be. Buildings, inventory, machinery, and vehicles are all important aspects of a business, but in the end it is the people that operate and maintain these systems and facilities that are the most valuable.
Not just businesses -- organizations need to prepare as well
Public schools and daycares are at the top of the list
Your business may have certain backup systems in place to protect your machinery and computer systems, but what about the more pertinent needs of your employees? What about daycares and schools that are charged with the safety of the children in their care? What happens if parents can't reach their children in a timely manner and there is nowhere else to go? Are these places ready to provide for basic needs until help arrives?
We need to bring preparedness policies to state legislatures
Since local government makes a lot of decisions that influence the operations of schools and day cares, disaster preparedness needs to be something that is high on their list of priorities, if our children are going to be protected or have the best chances in the worst of disasters.
Emergency food and water are at the top of the list, and then security and medical aid of course.
Preparing for a disaster starts today -- not at the last moment
As mentioned earlier, the time to prepare is today, not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not when disaster strikes. It is too late then. The presumption is usually that in a time of danger, people will rush home to the ones they love, but not all scenarios allow for that. An earthquake, tsunami, or sudden storm (like Colorado's "thousand year flood" several months back) can produce flash flooding that destroys roads and cuts off entire regions from disaster relief.
Earthquakes and wildfires can completely knock out infrastructure like electricity and water; catastrophic earthquakes can potentially knock out infrastructure for several months at a time.
Stores close. Banks collapse. Looters make a run on local businesses for everything they can get their hands on.
Disasters are getting worse
What much of the world calls climate change, others in the world are warning that we are seeing the direct hand of God. What do you believe is the cause of all this?
Because climate change doesn't cause earthquakes and tsunamis, we should take the huge increase in disasters that have struck in recent years as evidence that the hand of God is instead at work and that we can expect things to get worse for us simply because we have too many people pushing policies and society in a direction away from God.
Even if you're an atheist or agnostic, because there is no solid proof that God does or does not exist, you have to be prepared for the fact that one day you may discover that, actually, after all this time, he does exist ... and he's not happy with the governments of mankind (which is what the Bible is very clear about). God has a plan to bring it all crashing down, but not before giving the world several signs that it's about to take place... Words specifically from Jesus in Matthew 24.
Climate change doesn't include earthquakes -- something else is going on
Remember, while climate change offers a theory for why we're seeing bigger storms, wildfires, and flash flooding events, climate change does not explain why earthquakes (and tsunamis) have been included in that list of mega-disasters that have struck populated regions in recent years.
And then there's Israel. Like it or not, we have to accept that Israel is at the center of Bible prophecy, and like it or not we have to accept that Israel was reborn in 1948, fulfilling a key ancient Biblical prophecy about the end of days. Hard-line atheists will say it was a self-fulfilling prophecy that Jews and Christians brought about -- but that still doesn't explain the massive increase in mega-disasters that are striking populated regions in recent years. Isn't it all just a bit too coincidental?
I haven't even mentioned the global pursuits of Radical Islam and its desire for a world wide caliphate and its hatred for Christians. The Bible tells us that global persecution is in store for Christians when the end of days are here. Coincidentally, Radical Islam is spreading like wild fire, countries like Pakistan and Iran either have nukes or are seeking nukes, and ISIS is a global phenomenon that can't be killed and only keeps growing.
So are we now in the end of days? If so, and the "end of days" continues for several years, how is your business or organization going to fare amid an increase in chaotic events and disasters in the world? Put your employees first and it may do better than most businesses and organizations when it's all said and done.
Don't forget about medical supplies and first aid
Also included in maintaining order would be a suitable supply of first aid materials. Depending upon the type of disaster encountered, wounds can range from mild scrapes and cuts to broken bones and severe lacerations and life threatening injuries.
When people realize that care is available they have a tendency to remain calmer and satisfied that their basic needs can be met on site. Don't underestimate the power of having a segment of your employees properly trained in both basic and advanced first aid procedures. The Red Cross not only trains their own emergency responders, but also offers training classes for individuals and companies.
For more information on medical training for a disaster and first aid supplies for traumatic injuries, read: U.S. Army Ranger Airborne Combat Medics: Apocalypse Trauma Aid and Medical Kits, Post-Collapse.
Don't forget about nuclear fallout
Your company survival plan should also include a plan for sheltering within an interior room of a specific building that is sealed from nuclear fallout (these kind of preps can be done inexpensively; it doesn't take much to provide a protective barrier from radiation in the outside air, and is only needed for the first several days until outside levels dissipate; that is if you're far enough away from ground zero of a nuclear detonation or dirty bomb).
Though this is a worst case scenario, the threat of loose nukes on the black market, especially from the former Soviet stockpiles of the Cold War, and especially Pakistan's arsenal of nukes and the reach of Radical Islam into Pakistan, make a threat of a nuclear attack a real danger we may see at some point. Disaster preps for your business should include chemical protective gas masks as well as potassium iodide pills, which can help prevent many types of cancers when taken during a nuclear emergency.
Expect work places and schools to serve as areas of refuge for a number of people following mass disasters.
Because preparing a disaster plan at a place of business in many ways poses a much more complex solution than for a family or for individuals does not make it any less crucial. As the number of employees and their children increase, so do the challenges of "getting it right."
If you do it right, your business may be the only business to survive in your region.
Of course, in the AFTERMATH of an SHTF event or catastrophic disaster, you may find that there are now NEW needs, immediate needs, and with some forward thinking your business may be able to suddenly change its business model and do even better than it did before the disaster that brought everything crashing down in the first place.