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Emergency preparedness extends to business planning

Posted Sept. 28, 2017

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September is National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme — “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can” — focuses on the goal to increase the number of individuals, families and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school and places of worship. Part 4 of a four-part series:

Did you know that up to 40 percent of businesses affected by a natural or human-caused disaster never reopen? Yet in spite of the obvious benefits of having an emergency plan in place, nearly two-thirds of business owners say they don’t have one.

Businesses can do a lot to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world, including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software.

The Department of Homeland Security sponsors a resource called Ready Business to assist firms in developing a preparedness program. There are five steps:

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.
  • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks.

Implementation

  • Write a preparedness plan addressing resource management, emergency response, crisis communications, business continuity, information technology, employee assistance, incident management and training. Testing and exercises
  • Test and evaluate your plan.
  • Define different types of exercises.
  • Learn how to conduct exercises.
  • Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.

Program improvement

  • Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed.
  • Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program.
  • Use the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements.

To develop an “all hazards approach,” DHS has adopted a standard for developing a business preparedness program.

KnoWhat2Do is a regional North Central Texas preparedness program that promotes Think, Prepare and Act strategies to enable your family to become prepared for any incident.

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Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Sept. 24, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 24, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Task Force on Race and Culture: 5 p.m. Sept. 24, 2018; University Christian Church, 2720 S University Drive.

Community Action Partners (CAP) Council: 2 p.m. Sept. 25, 2018; La Gran Plaza, 4200 South Freeway, Suite 2310.
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Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 2 p.m. Sept. 25, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 2 p.m. Sept. 25, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Park and Recreation Advisory Board Work Session: 3 p.m. Sept. 25, 2018; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Sept. 25, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Active Transportation Projects Open House: 6 p.m. Sept. 25, 2018; Fort Worth Central Library, 500 W 3rd St.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 25, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority/MedStar Mobile Healthcare: 10 a.m. Sept. 26, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: 11:30 a.m. Sept. 26, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Hemphill Street Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2018; Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St.

Breakfast at the BAC: Soft Skills of Leadership: 7:30 a.m. Sept. 27, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 S. Freeway.
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Quickbooks for Beginners - Desktop and Online Editions: 9 a.m. Sept. 27, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 S. Freeway.
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Emergency Physicians Advisory Board: 12:30 p.m. Sept. 27, 2018; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Collective Bargaining Negotiations between the City and the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local Union 440: 1 p.m. Sept. 27, 2018; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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Active Transportation Projects Open House: 6 p.m. Sept. 27, 2018; Southwest Regional Library, 4001 Library Ln.

Responsible Pet Ownership Class: 6 p.m. Sept. 27, 2018; Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, 4900 Martin Street.

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