Emergencies can be catastrophic for businesses of any size, but small businesses are particularly affected. Many small businesses have not adequately protected themselves in an emergency scenario that requires environmental cleaning. Fortunately, it is never too late to create a contingency plan. Contingency planning can help your business stay afloat when the worst happens, preventing costly downtime.
Importance of Contingency Plans
From burst pipelines to unexpected fires to medical emergencies, it is impossible to predict exactly what disaster situation your business may face. However, creating a comprehensive contingency plan provides a coherent framework to guide your response to a crisis. Contingency planning requires you to think methodically about your facility, its strengths and its areas for improvement.
Having a contingency plan makes it more likely that your company will bounce back from an emergency situation. One of the additional benefits is that it prevents people from panicking or responding erratically in times of stress. Making decisions in a high-stress situation often leads to oversights or costly mistakes. Contingency planning ensures that everyone is on the same page about the steps that need to be taken to get your business up and running again.
What to Include in a Contingency Plan
As with all planning, it is essential to be as specific and concrete as possible when creating a contingency plan for your business. Answer the questions of “who, what, where, when, and why” when laying out scenarios. Keep in mind that there may be considerable overlap in emergency restoration services required for various scenarios. For example, a chemical spill may differ from a mold outbreak, but both may require immediate chemical contamination cleaning.
The contingency planning process begins by identifying specific ways that your business may be vulnerable; this is where it can be particularly useful to consult with disaster restoration experts. After identifying vulnerabilities, create a resource management plan to keep your business up and running (within possible limitations). Consider your ideal timeline for disaster relief and subsequent contamination cleaning. Be realistic about your goals and ability to continue generating revenue in a crisis situation.
Next, it is important to create a specific, actionable crisis communication plan that outlines who is contacted (and in what order). This prevents confusing — and costly — miscommunications on the ground. Finally, a good contingency plan includes a detailed outline of the responsibilities of key personnel. This is essential for avoiding gaps in coverage that could lead to costly mistakes. Distribute copies of the plan to employees, and keep a backup copy on file with your emergency response company to ensure it gets carried out appropriately.
At EcoShield, we are experts at contingency planning. We specialize in helping businesses develop contingency plans for biological or chemical contamination scenarios. If you’re worried about your facility’s emergency preparedness, contact EcoShield today.