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Small Business Emergency Readiness series: Practice

As we conclude the Small Business Emergency Readiness series, I would like to thank everyone who called or emailed CPR on what they are doing to prepare their family and business in an emergency. In today's post, we will explore the concept of practice in the event there is an emergency. Oxford dictionary defines perform as an activity, exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly to improve or maintain one's proficiency. The operative words are "improve or maintain one's proficiency." The goal of practicing is to transition to a more competent and efficient level. This may also signify transitioning to high competence and confidence in your work. So how can this be achieved in a business setting? CPR offers some recommendations.

As a small business, we encourage you to document all policies and procedures for your business operations. While some procedures may be found in your business plan, implementing policies and procedures will serve as your compass during an emergency.

1-Draft, review, revise, and implement your policies and procedures (PnP).

  • PnP must be shared with all staff. In larger companies, all employees should know of their operating procedures, including times of emergency; however, the individuals directly participating are held accountable for new and revised policies.

  • If this is your first time at the rodeo:

    • do sit with your team,

    • review each emergency procedure with your team,

    • explain why it is being implemented now as opposed to prior business calendar years

    • underscore the expectations,

    • answer any questions

2. Change in Table of Organization-(T.O)

  • During an emergency, roles change. Be sure to map out the new roles and titles during an emergency. For example, who is acting in your absence if you are the CEO on vacation? You need to identify someone and assign them the title in your absence. The acting CEO might differ from the day-to-day CEO or the same person. This is also the perfect time to coach someone with potential for the acting CEO role.

    • The only caveat is to ensure the CEO and acting CEO are not on vacation or traveling together. Take a hint from world leaders. Typically, the President, Prime Minister deputy, or vice does not travel or take time off together

3. Practice

This signifies implementing an internal emergency communication code and practice, virtual or in person. While many may maintain that practice makes perfect, CPR contends that practice makes you more efficient in handling an emergency.

  • state the frequency of your practice or emergency drills

  • use different scenarios based on what is occurring in today's world

  • become a direct observer

    • As the CEO, after you have several emergency drills under your belt, observe an emergency drill. This allows your acting CEO an opportunity to lead and step up.

4. Convene meeting

Immediately following the drill, be sure to meet with your team. Scrutinize what worked, revise your policies, communicate to staff, and implement accordingly.

During an emergency, learn to expect the unexpected, plan by conducting drills, secure your emergency executive team, train and support staff, and provide coaching for you and the new leaders. Should you and your staff need assistance or leadership coaching, please call CPR at 347-674-4878 or email us at

Warm Regards,


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