Emergencies are something you just can’t put off. After all, there’s no way to stop something you cannot see coming. However, what you can do is create a business emergency plan and ensure everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to do in case of an emergency. It’s very important that you do this since your business is vital for your financial well-being and it’s best to prevent any potential damage an emergency can cause. With that said, here are five steps for creating an effective business emergency plan and cushioning the effect of an emergency.

Know what can go wrong

If you want to create a business emergency plan, you first have to identify potential threats. A threat can be anything that could happen to you, your team, equipment, operations and reputation. This includes natural threats such as hurricanes or floods and human threats such as mistakes or stealing. Identifying which of these threats could harm your business is the key to coming up with ways to protect your company. It’s also a good idea to rank emergencies according to how likely they’re to occur and use the list to figure out where to start.

Come up with a plan

No matter what kind of business you’re running, having an emergency action plan is a must. Some of the procedures in it are prescribed by the law while you’re in charge to come up with the rest. There are a number of ways you can creating a business emergency plan but the elements in it are always supposed to be the same. For instance, there needs to be a specific set of instructions for shutting down equipment and processes in case of an emergency. Another important element in every company’s business emergency plan is evacuation process in case of a fire or a similar emergency.

Know who to turn to

With most emergencies, all you can do is keep everyone safe until help arrives. Therefore, it’s extremely important to have your employees know all emergency numbers they might need. However, it’s still recommended to keep a list of emergency numbers somewhere close. The list should include everything from police to animal control. Another good idea is to look for a good emergency electrician your employees can turn to if something happens to your equipment or power runs out. It’s best to find a local electrician who’s available 24/7.

Designate a coordinator

An emergency like a fire or earthquake can cause a lot of panic. This is why it’s very important to know who’s responsible for providing public with information and making sure that outside aid is called. Since you may not always be there, having one of your staff members being in charge is a good idea. Once you designate an emergency response coordinator, you can even have them take a course and learn everything they’re supposed to do if something unexpected happens. Also, make certain everyone in the company knows who the designated coordinator is.

Test your plan

Once you create your plan and designate a coordinator, it’s time to ensure your employees know exactly what they’re supposed to do in case of an emergency. The best way to do this is to conduct emergency drills every now and then. This helps new employees learn what to do and reminds everyone else what the plan is. Emergency drills need to be conducted at least once a year, depending on the type of work you do. Conducting additional drills when new equipment has been introduced is also a must.

Emergencies happen more often than some people believe and being prepared can significantly reduce the costs involved. More importantly, it helps you keep everyone in your business, from customers and employees safe, no matter what’s going on.