When the unexpected happens, you had better have the framework and answers C-suite demands.

About 25% of businesses do not reopen after disasters. An emergency disaster plan and a continuity plan, can reduce that risk and help your business recover faster. 

A workplace should have a business continuity response plan in place for dealing with disasters, to ensure the safety and well-being of its employees.

As I write this article, this occurs down the road. Expect the unexpected in NYC. Credit firefighter_life.ig.


Here are some key steps that workplaces can take to prepare for and respond to disasters:

Develop a disaster response plan: A comprehensive disaster response plan should be developed that outlines procedures for evacuating the workplace, communicating with employees, and addressing any immediate needs or concerns. This plan should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it remains effective.

Conduct regular training and drills: Employees should be trained on the disaster response plan and procedures, and regular drills should be conducted to test the plan’s effectiveness.

Establish communication channels: Communication channels should be established for quickly notifying employees of any potential disasters or emergency situations, as well as providing updates on the situation and instructions for what to do. Have a scaled response in your plan, so at what level is your management notified and resources deployed.

Identify and prioritize essential functions: Essential functions and services should be identified, and prioritized to ensure continuity of operations, during and after a disaster.

Consider remote work options: Remote work options should be considered to enable employees to continue working from home, or another location if the workplace is inaccessible or unsafe. An upside of COVID is that most businesses are well prepared for this.

Provide support for employees: Workplace response plans should include provisions for providing support to employees, such as counseling services or assistance with finding temporary housing or childcare.

Collaborate with local authorities: Workplaces should collaborate with federal and local authorities to ensure that their disaster response plans are aligned with local emergency management plans and procedures.

Preparation is the key

You won’t have all the answers on the day, but it’s important to have a framework and systems in place that can manage your disaster response. Get your key people in a room and build a multidisciplinary playbook sooner rather than later.

Plan now not in the moment

By taking these foundation steps, your workplace can help ensure the safety of your employees, and minimize the impact of disasters on your operations.