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Schools and Businesses

School classroomBusinesses/Schools can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, fire, tornadoes, and widespread serious illness such as a flu virus pandemic; human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence/terrorism,  and chemical spills; and technology-related hazards such as ransomware, malware, and failure or malfunction of equipment or software.

The information below will assist businesses/schools in developing a preparedness program – not just a plan in a binder.  Include your local responders (law enforcement, fire, and EMS).  The five steps in developing a preparedness program are:

Program Management
Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program

Planning
Gather information about hazards and assess risks
Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
Examine ways to prevent hazards,reduce risks, and mitigate damages

Implementation
Write a preparedness plan addressing: Resource management, Emergency response, Crisis communications, Business continuity, Information technology, Employee assistance, Incident management, Training

Testing and Exercises
Test your plan using exercises to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan

Program Improvement
Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
Actual events should be critiqued and lessons learned implemented to improve the plan

In conjunction with the Marinette School District, this office developed a one page, Critical Incident Response Guide template for you to adapt to your business/school.  Staff can keep it at their desks for quick reference during an emergency. 

Continuity of Operations
An important part of a preparedness plan is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).  How are you going to remain functional if your facility(s) is damaged by a tornado, or inaccessable due to flooding, or without power for a week or longer?  This would include communicating with employees and customers, paying bills and employees, etc.  Ready.gov offers a free Business Continuity Planning Suite (ZIP archive; PC compatible).  This software was created for any business with the need to create, improve, or update its business continuity plan. The Suite is scalable for optimal use by organizations of any size.