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How to Become a More Disaster Resilient Business. A Roadmap to Business Resiliency. Washington State Emergency Management Division Road to Resilience. Business Resiliency Objective.

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How to Become a More Disaster Resilient Business

A Roadmap to Business Resiliency

Washington State

Emergency Management Division


Road to Resilience

Business Resiliency Objective

Empower organizations with capabilities to rapidly adapt and transform themselves in response to a spectrum of unexpected events from natural disasters to market driven events.

current state of most businesses
Current State of Most Businesses

According to a recent study – 89% of businesses have evacuation plans in place

Research conducted by Assn. of Small Business Development Centers states that ”of those businesses impacted by a disaster with no plan, 43% never reopen.”

Of those reopening, only 29% are still operating two years later.

business preparedness indicators
Business Preparedness Indicators

Small businesses=companies with $5M to $50M in annual sales

Fewer than half of small businesses

Conduct regular risk audits

Have established alternate work sites

Undertake regular tabletop exercises

89% have evacuation plans in place

39% have traumatic counseling plans

Re: The Conference Board Report released 5/8/08


Road to Resilience – Step #1

Step 1: Invest In Preparedness

Minimizing worry about an employee’s safety and that of their loved ones make for more productive workers.

  • Proactively prepare your employees before a disaster occurs.
  • Provide clear communications for employees and their families during a crisis event.
  • Support your employees and their families as they work to recover post-disaster.

Road to Resilience – Step #1

Preparedness Resources

Personal/Family Preparedness


Road to Resilience – Step #1

Preparedness Resources

Home Preparedness

Secure your home to reduce potential hazards during a disaster.

  • Secure wall hangings.
  • Secure tall furniture and objects.
  • Secure the water heater.
  • Secure contents of cabinets.
  • Secure contents in garage and storage.
  • Complete structural mitigation.

Road to Resilience – Step #1

Preparedness Resources

Neighborhood Preparedness

Preparing ourselves, and our neighborhoods, for disaster is an act of good citizenship. Every community has serious limits on the amount of emergency resources available to help people in real need.

  • Learn the 9 Steps to Take Immediately Following a Disaster.
  • Complete the Neighborhood Skills and Inventory List.
  • Create a Neighborhood Map and Contact List.
  • Identify those with specific needs.

Road to Resilience – Step #1

Preparedness Resources

Business Preparedness

Economists calculate that every dollar spent on preparing for a disaster saves seven dollars in response.

  • Steps to Comprehensive Preparedness and Planning.
  • Access to information and resources on hazards and threats in Washington.
  • One stop shop training and exercise resources.
  • Planning templates and best practice examples.
EMD Business Preparedness

Steps to Comprehensive Business Preparedness and Planning

Safety Meeting Preparedness Topics

Personal and Home Preparedness

Prepare in a Year

Getting Ready – Home Preparedness

Pet Preparedness

Neighborhood Preparedness

Map Your Neighborhood

Road to Resilience – Step #1

Key Preparedness Resources


Road to Resilience – Step #2

Step 2: Identify Your Risk

  • Acknowledge the risks that could impact your business and plan accordingly.

Road to Resilience – Step #2

Identify Your Risk

  • 90% of all natural disasters in the US involve flooding.
  • Since 1956, Washington State has
  • received 31 Presidential Declarations
  • for flooding events.

Road to Resilience – Step #2

Identify Your Risk

  • Source: WA State Hazard Profile, Floods.

Road to Resilience – Stop #2

Road to Resilience – Step #2

Identify Your Risks


Road to Resilience – Step #3

Step 3: Mitigate or Transfer Your Risk

  • Mitigating risk where possible may be more cost effective.
  • Without insurance the primary form of business disaster relief is a low interest Small Business Administration Loan.
  • Complete the Non-structural Hazard Mitigation Self Assessment -
Home and business owners need both structure and contents coverage.

Recommend business interruption insurance.

As of 7/26/09 new state legislation requires insurer notification on flood insurance.

Road to Resilience – Step #3

Invest in Insurance


- How to secure potential hazards.

- How to safely turn off utilities.

- Personal safety around downed power lines. 

- Safe set up and use of a generator.

Visit our website:


Road to Resilience – Step #3

Home and Business

Mitigation Projects

Washington State Hazard Mitigation Plan:

Non-structural Hazard Mitigation Assessment List:


Office of Insurance Commissioner Education Materials:

Road to Resilience – Step #3

Mitigation Resources


Road to Resilience – Step #4

Step 4: Plan and Train For What You Cannot Mitigate….

  • Beat the Statistics – Research conducted by the Ad Council found that more than 85% of small businesses understand that emergency preparedness is important, yet only four in ten businesses have a plan to protect their businesses.

Road to Resilience – Step #4

Develop A Business Continuity Plan

  • Take the “Is Your Business Ready” questionnaire.
  • Identify and develop back up strategies critical business processes or functions.
  • **Listen to Small Business Owner Video
  • Complete the Key Vendor/Supplier Form and ensure they have continuity plan.
  • Identify alternate work site locations.
  • Why should you invest time in doing a plan?
EMD Business Planning Resources

IBHS Open for Business Toolkit & FEMA’s Ready.Gov planning templates

Mike Peroni, Boistfort Valley Organic Farm Business Video Testimonial

EMD Business Training and Exercise Resources

Links to the majority of Washington local jurisdiction training programs

NOAA Weather Radio information:

Road to Resilience – Step #4

Planning/Training Resources


Road to Resilience – Step #5

Step 5: Establish Communication Redundancy

pier business information site launch 12 1 08
PIER Business Information Site Launch 12/1/08

Leverage use of existing EMD system at no additional cost

Secure site with access to most need to know response/recovery information

Push, pull and real time interactive communication

Enhanced message management and metrics

EMD Business Portal Response Information

State Business Liaison contact information

Local Emergency Operation Center contact information

Public Information Emergency Response (PIER) Business Information site

Web based two way messaging system for media releases/business information

WA State Department of Transportation I-5 Corridor Freight System website

One stop location for trucker restrictions, rest stops and permit information

NOAA Weather Radio information

Road to Resilience – Step #5

Communication Resources


Road to Resilience – Step #6

Step 6: Advanced Planning

  • Develop partnerships within your local business community. Know partner resources and develop an understanding in advance to share those resources.
  • Partner with local emergency management offices on initiatives that improve business response and recovery coordination.
EMD Business Portal Private Industry Best Practices Page

Community Organizations Active in Disaster

Private Sector NIMS Compliance Activities

San Francisco Building Occupancy Resumption Program

Road to Resilience – Step #6

Advanced Planning Resources


Road to Resilience

Step #1 – Invest in Preparedness

Step #2 – Identify Your Risk

Step #3 – Mitigate or Transfer Your Risk

Step #4 – Plan For What You Can’t Mitigate

Step #5 – Establish Communication Redundancy

Step #6 – Advanced Planning


For more information please contact:

Wendy Freitag or


Washington State

Emergency Management Division