Recent events, such as Hurricane Sandy, have forced many small businesses to consider becoming better prepared for emergencies by coming up with emergency plans as well as emergency kits to protect the business and the employees that make the business great. If your business is considering taking extra precautions when it comes to emergencies, these are a few items you might want to consider including in your small business emergency kit.
Minimum Survival Kits
If you’re planning for a prolonged emergency, food and water are the most basic and primary of concerns. The general rule of thumb for food and water is that you should have enough supply on hand to care for your entire staff for up to three days. You can create your own kits with water, energy bars, and other high protein snacks or you can purchase ready-made kits that already include these things. The other thing you need to remember is that these things must be stored in a location that’s accessible in most emergencies but out of the way during the day-to-day operation of your business. Don’t forget to have enough thermal blankets for everyone. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, but can save lives when the temperature drops and the power and/or heat is out.
Tools for Getting Help and/or Information
There are two things that are vital when tragedy strikes your business. You need access to information and a method of attracting the attention of help when it’s near. The tools you need in a situation like this include a hand-cranked radio—preferably a NOAA weather radio (it’s possible to find a hand crank radio that also charges mobile phones too), flashlights, whistles, and essential tools (wrenches, pry bars, pliers, and rope). Tools like these can be the difference between life and death in some emergencies and should definitely be included in your emergency kit.
First Aid Kit and Supplies
Fast access to first aid supplies can save lives. A small business emergency kit will need a few things a typical home or automobile emergency kit may be without. Some of the items you want to have in your emergency first aid kit include: alcohol wipes, scissors, gauze pads, adhesive bandages, latex-free surgical gloves (some people have severe latex allergies), aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, antibiotic ointment, resuscitation equipment, and burn cream. It’s also a good idea to have a book with basic first aid techniques and protocols in it.
Waste Management Supplies
While this isn’t the most pleasant thought, it will become increasingly unpleasant if managing waste isn’t given some thought ahead of time. It’s a good idea to have moist toilet wipes, tissue packets, and disposable garbage bags (large and small) to contain the waste.
These simple supplies can save lives when disaster strikes and are important to include as integral parts of your disaster plan. You should also have a hard copy of your company’s emergency protocols and emergency procedures so that every employee knows what to do if this ever becomes necessary.