Prepare your business checklist
This checklist is designed to be completed before an emergency situation. It aims to help you plan for emergencies and protect your business, and develop your action plan against emergencies.
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What does the Prepare your business checklist cover?
The Prepare your business checklist will guide you through the various stages of your preparing your business for an emergency. The planning stages include:
Plan for emergencies
- See our Emergency management & recovery plan template.
- Research your local area (e.g. weather, climate and crime), your market and your competitors for likely risks.
- Complete the risk management assessment table with your risks, impact to your business, likelihood, your mitigation strategies and contingency plans.
Research your business
- Research your business and identify the critical areas or functions of your business that you cannot do without.
- Complete a critical business area analysis and include each critical business area, the impact to your business if they fail and your current protection strategies.
- Develop a scenario based on your top three critical business areas.
- Consider adopting business continuity standards and obligations that could help your business achieve best practice.
- Complete your Emergency management & recovery plan template, communicate it to your staff and keep it up to date.
Develop your emergency action plan
- Develop your emergency contacts list and include local state emergency, police, fire and ambulance services.
- Develop your recovery contacts list and include details of your insurance company, bank, employees, suppliers and any other key people.
- Review your evacuation plan and ensure you have covered any additional procedures required under likely emergency scenarios.
- Create an emergency kit and include things like key documents, phone numbers, torch, first aid kit, portable radio, plastic bags, spare batteries and water.
- Place emergency procedures, contacts, kits and equipment in a prominent location and advise staff.
- Set up an emergency action team, set clear roles and responsibilities and organise appropriate training.
- Rehearse your action plan regularly.
- Keep your action plan up to date.
Protect your business
- Take out insurance or check your existing insurance covers your risks.
- Store your registration, financial, customer data and other important business documents in a safe location.
- Perform regular backups of your digital data and store the backup in a secure offsite location.
- If you have data protection devices (such as fire proof safes) check you are using them appropriately.
- Check you have proper up-to-date virus protection, secure networks and firewalls, and secure password protection procedures.
- Check that your property and infrastructure is appropriate for the area, e.g. is it secure or is there a way you can make it more fire/flood proof?
- Regularly maintain your property to help prevent emergencies, e.g. in fire prone areas, ensure you maintain the surrounding areas of leaf litter and grasses and clear gutters regularly.
- Organise a backup for essential services (local telecommunications, electricity, gas, water and fuel) in more disaster-prone areas.
- Research temporary office locations (such as a temporary business centre, hotel, someone's home or an office provided by a service provider).
- Research the virtual office services that could be useful in an emergency (such as a telephone answering service, mail forwarding, or a remote secretarial service).
- If appropriate, research and set up alternative ways of selling your products online for use during a recovery period (including setting up an e-commerce website or online auction account).
- Cross-train employees in as many areas of the business as possible to help avoid key person risk.
- Choose more energy efficient ways of running your business.