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Business Preparedness

Room full of business files.

Emergencies and disasters are inevitable, and recent disasters have shown how devastating these catastrophic events can be to businesses and local economies. Download the complete Emergency Toolkit for Businesses for checklists and other useful information to keep your business safe during a disaster.

Businesses that are prepared for disasters such as major storms, earthquakes, floods, fires, or hazardous materials spills:

  • Are better able to survive disasters and protect their employees and operations.
  • Play a significant role in their community’s recovery.
  • Are more likely to meet safety and workplace regulations, including the provincial Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations and the Canada Labour Code

Developing your Emergency Plan

Consider these items when developing your emergency plan.

Data and Documentation

  • Check your insurance policy to ensure important business assets are covered in the event of a disaster.
  • Make sure your emergency contact information is posted in your office.
  • Back up critical business data and retain an off-site copy.

Site Safety

  • Review checklists for building safety.
  • Keep first aid kits well stocked and consider offering basic first aid training to employees
  • Maintain fire extinguishers to keep in working order.
  • Regularly check smoke detector batteries.
  • Keep a properly stocked emergency kit in the office.

Advance Planning

  • Develop and train employees on a business emergency preparedness plan, including:
    • Business risk analysis
    • Crisis communications plan
    • Evacuation and shelter-in-place plans
    • Aiding employees or customers with special needs
  • Discuss emergency plans with suppliers, service providers and other business network partners
  • Consider contingency plans in case of utility disruption.
  • Encourage employees to develop household emergency plans.

Employee Safety

To ensure the safety of your employees, ensure you offer training and supplies for employees, familiarize all staff with your plan and make sur eyou account for any special needs of employees.

Building Safety

Ensure your building's safety by considering the different types of emergencies and the potential risks associated with your building. Following these steps will help you plan to keep your building and staff as safe as possible:

  • If you manage building utilities, designate individuals to be responsible for shutting them off in an emergency if needed.
  • Identify contact information for any inspection and repair professionals you may need after an emergency.
  • Make sure building contents are properly secured in case of an earthquake.
  • Identify alternate work locations in the event your building becomes severely damaged or inaccessible.
  • Discuss with a professional options for addressing any structural safety issues regarding earthquakes, floods, etc.
  • Keep property well maintained to ensure proper storm drainage, lessen risk of trees falling on structures/power lines, etc.
  • Review insurance policies to ensure building structure and contents are adequately covered.

For detailed information on developing your plan, utilities and communication, insurance and other emergency preparedness tips for your business, download the Emergency Toolkit for Businesses.