Planning, preparation, response & recovery


Excerpts from Are U Ready – surviving small business disaster – Anthony Turner & Sandra Slatter

Typically there are four phases to go through in coping with any disaster:

1. Planning for a potential threat:

Planning (or the lack thereof) makes a significant difference to the emotional impact a disaster has on individuals and the speed of their recovery after the disaster.

Most people cling to the belief that ‘it’ll never happen to me’ rather than being honest about the environment in which we live and operate our businesses and therefore to what extent we leave ourselves exposed to the vagaries of weather, nature and/or the will of others.

The key to responding positively to a significant disaster is first to recognise any potential threats/hazards to you or your business and then to create a ‘best guess’ plan about how to respond should such a threat materialise.

2. Preparation for the impact of a threat:

In the preparation phase it is important to look at the physical activity (as distinct from the theoretical overview) that has to be performed when facing the particular disaster risk that has been identified.

The key to preparation success is practice. The more trained and the more practised you and your team are in knowing what to do when faced with a disaster the more likely you are to first survive and then to recover in the shortest possible time.

3. Response in the midst of disaster:

Core to survival is first to know what threat you are facing, secondly to plan how you can escape this impending threat and lastly to determine how you can stay safe during an event should escaping to a safe zone or safer surroundings be impossible or impractical.

Implicit in any survival plan is a true and honest acknowledgment of your real capabilities for facing a perceived disaster threat along with a pragmatic evaluation of escape routes, resources and an all important understanding about ‘what if everything goes pear-shaped at the last minute’.

Many questions have to be considered before making a plan for surviving a disaster event whether that event is a natural disaster, a localised building fire, a storm or any other circumstance that could put your life and the lives of those you care about in jeopardy

4. Recovery post disaster:

Recovery involves all dimensions of one’s life — emotional, physical and mental. Obviously individual circumstances will be different and each will require different strategies.

There is also a major contributing factor that you will have to deal with — your emotional response to the disaster you face. It’s virtually impossible, in a pre-disaster environment, to know how you will feel.

We know the people we have worked with in the disaster arena were not ready but we also know the majority of small-business owners in the wider business community are similarly unprepared.
That is why (through the title of this book) we have posed the question — Are U Ready?

Contact TSBI for your copy today.

2 Responses to Planning, preparation, response & recovery

  1. tatarazamani December 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Yes I am ready for business again

  2. John Ballard, EEMS Academy December 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Good article Sheridan. I have to agree that people do tend to think it wont happen to them and to consider all the hard work that has gone into building up the business just to see Mother Nature or an act of risk wipe out your business is appalling. Planning and practice is essential. Consider if you are shop or building based, how would you continue to run a business without that building?
    My business is risk business and disaster management, so I am pleased to see this topic getting a run because it is something that with planning can mitigate the risks and help you survive to see another (business) day!

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