MARY KELLY, PhD,
U.S. NAVY (RET.),
response scenarios for the
Navy. She wrote the In Case
of Emergency, Break Glass!
program to help families
and businesses plan for
illness, crises, and death.
She can be found at Mary@
KNOW WHERE TO GET
AND GIVE HELP.
Unfortunately, there is no amount of planning
that can mitigate the damage caused by every
disaster. There’s very little someone can do
if a tornado tears right through their only
restaurant. If the president issues a disaster
declaration, though, business owners in the
area can apply for low-interest loans through
the Small Business Administration and the
Farm Service Agency.
The NSA CSP Committee, led by Marilyn
Sherman, CSP, did a fantastic job contacting
and calling NSA members in Texas, Florida,
and Puerto Rico to find out if they were OK
and if they needed immediate help. This was
made possible because Shawna Suckow created a database, and Marilyn and her team
were organized enough to respond quickly. Al
Walker, CSP, CPAE, and the NSA Foundation
team created a process to send funds quickly.
Great teamwork made the NSA outreach possible and effective.
Emergencies are why we have
emergency funds. Frances Ríos recommends having $5,000 on hand
as cash in small bills. In Puerto
Rico, “ATMs didn’t work. Banks
were closed. No one accepted
credit cards, because there was no
power. People didn’t want $100
bills because they thought they
were counterfeit, and they couldn’t
make change anyway. Having cash
meant you could make purchases,”
PLAN AND TEST.
Terry Brock, MBA, CSP, CPAE, was in Florida
during Hurricane Irma. He encourages speakers
to prepare and plan, as well as test what they have
in place. Many people think basic services will
work, but you cannot count on that. “The worst-case scenario is to think you’re prepared when
you’re really not. Don’t assume that you’re ready
or that you’ll have a lot of time to get ready.”
MITIGATE YOUR RISKS.
A company in Minnesota usually doesn’t have
to worry about hurricanes, and a small business
in Florida can likely overlook the possibility of
a blizzard. However, because speakers travel for
work, we can be impacted by events in other
locations. We can be delayed in one location
or unable to physically access another location.
Don’t risk your safety or professional reputation
by scheduling the last flight of the day—flight
delays are all too common—and make sure you
always travel with extra battery packs to charge
your phone and computer.
“The worst-case scenario is to think
you’re prepared when you’re really not.
Don’t assume that you’re ready or that
you’ll have a lot of time to get ready.”
These disaster business tips can help a
company recover from natural and man-made disasters. They also can be used to
recover from smaller emergencies. Whether
it’s a storm, a data breach, vandalism, or an
accident, following a plan increases the likelihood of businesses and families surviving
and recovering quickly.
Once a disaster occurs, it’s too late to
worry about what should have been done.
Create a plan now! ■