Private sector emergency preparedness should establish assurance in the ability to respond to potential incidents, instill a culture of preparedness at the workplace, and provide a means of business continuity. Through the emergency preparedness process, businesses have a better chance to maintain financial security in the event of an emergency, for both the company and its employees. Businesses, both large and small, are the backbone of America’s economy and, as a result, need to prioritize emergency preparedness for the sake of our nation’s security.
For a company to be successful in emergency response planning, the support of upper management is essential. The executive leadership team needs to set the tone by authorizing and directing senior management to institute emergency preparedness measures and financially support those efforts.
Budgetary restraints and the dedicated man-hours required are the main reasons emergency preparedness may be a lower priority in an organization. It is understandable that businesses are trying to operate efficiently and profitably. Unfortunately, it may take a regulatory compliance issue or incident to move emergency preparedness to the forefront.
FEMA suggests and gives examples of presenting management with value-added rationale for implementing a cohesive emergency preparedness program. Examples include:
- Allows companies fulfill their moral responsibility to protect employees, the community and the environment.
- Facilitates compliance with Federal, State and local regulations.
- Establishes processes and procedures to enhance a company’s ability to recover from financial losses, limit or eliminate regulatory fines, loss of market share and corporate reputation, damages to equipment or products, and business interruption.
- Reduces exposure to civil or criminal liability and lawsuits in the event of an incident.
- Enhances a company’s image and credibility, and fulfills moral responsibilities to protect employees, customers, the community, and the environment.
- May reduce your insurance premiums.
Emergency management is a dynamic process. Planning, though critical, is not the only component in an emergency preparedness program. Training, conducting drills, testing equipment, and coordinating interoperability with the community are instrumental for any emergency preparedness program.
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.