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For Businesses: Planning Tools

Step 2: Plan to Stay in Business

How quickly your company can return to business after a fire, flood, or terrorist attack depends on emergency planning done today. Start by putting together a Business Continuity Plan or a Continuity of Operations Plan, which outlines how you will preserve or restore your business's critical functions.

Review your business process flow chart (used to design and document complex processes and programs), if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Include emergency payroll, expedited financial decision-making and accounting systems to track and document costs in the event of a disaster. Establish procedures for succession of management including at least one person who is not at the company headquarters, if possible.

  • Determine which staff, materials, procedures, contacts, and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating
  • Decide who should participate in developing your emergency plan. Include coworkers from all levels in planning, but focus on those with expertise vital to daily business functions. These will likely include people with technical skills as well as managers and executives
  • Review your business process to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Include payroll, financial decision making, and accounting to keep track of costs in the event of a disaster
    • Establish procedures for succession of management. Choose someone who is likely to be on-site and at least one person who is off-site.
  • Make a list of your most important customers and plan ways to communicate with them during and after a disaster.
  • Develop emergency plans with key suppliers, shippers, resources, and other vendors you depend on to do business. Cultivate relationships with more than one company in case your primary contractor cannot meet your needs. Let contractors know which supplies are critical to your business activities.
  • Keep copies of important records you may need to rebuild your business in a waterproof, fireproof, portable container.
  • Store a second set of the following records at an off-site location:
    • Building plans
    • Insurance policies
    • Employee contact and identification information
    • Bank account records
    • Tax records (three years' for insurance purposes)
    • Supplier and shipping contact lists
    • Backups of computer data
    • Emergency or law enforcement contact information
    • Other priority documents
Review Plans Annually
Just as your business changes over time, so do your preparedness needs. When you hire new employees or when there are changes in how your company functions, you should update your plans and inform your people.

Learn more about planning for and protecting your business from FEMA
Enroll in the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) to gain emergency access to your worksite
Join New York City's Private Asset and Logistics Management System (PALMS)   

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Ready New York for Business
Ready New York for Business contains practical and actionable advice to help businesses protect their employees and enhance a company's ability to recover from financial loss resulting from business interruption or damage to facilities and inventory.
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