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Helping L.A. Region Businesses Get Disaster Ready

2014-09-04 - Los Angeles - Helping L.A. Region Businesses Get Disaster Ready
Many proactive businesses across the L.A. Region are helping their employees get disaster-ready.

If you’re at work during an earthquake or fire, it doesn’t matter if you’re the custodian or the CEO. What matters most is knowing what to do.

Since September Is Preparedness Month, many proactive businesses across the L.A. Region, including Disney, Zenith, Toyota, Forest Lawn and INEOS, are helping their employees get disaster-ready by sponsoring safety and preparedness fairs. Red Cross volunteers will give readiness presentations and distribute information about what to do before, during and after earthquakes and other preparedness info.

In addition, the Red Cross can offer more extensive planning through its four formal preparedness programs that train employees to handle emergencies in the workplace. The services offered through these programs, called PrepareBiz, Ready Rating, Business Simulation and Ready Certified, range from free on-site training about organizational preparedness to customized evaluations of disaster plans and full-scale preparedness planning. A Red Cross representative can meet with businesses to provide a variety of services.

Below are some Red Cross business preparedness tips:

  • The first step a business should take in preparing for an emergency is to develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) or a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). Check out the Ready Rating Program for a free online planning tool.
  • Encourage employees to be prepared at work with extra supplies like sturdy shoes, emergency contact info, food and water, a change of clothes, a whistle and a flashlight.
  • To protect the business from possible loss of valuable data, all computers should be backed up several times per day and onto a cloud or offsite backup. UL-approved surge protectors and battery backup systems are also recommended.
  • Companies can protect employees by bolting furniture to the wall studs, securing breakable objects including frames and walled mirrors, placing latches inside drawers and cabinets to keep them shut during an earthquake or workplace explosion, strapping in hot-water heaters, installing automatic fire sprinklers, and having an emergency stockpile of items such as water and flashlights.
  • While all employees should be familiarized with the company’s disaster plan, one employee should be designated per shift as the safety leader.
  • Being prepared can mean not only returning to business, but, more importantly, protecting valuable human resources. For more information about any of the business preparedness programs, please contact Preparedness and Resiliency Manager Hilary Anderson at Hilary.Anderson@redcross.com.