As we begin to wind down the emergency checklist for leaders within the small business communities, it is important to underscore that the list and priorities may change based on Global matters. Whether natural disasters, large-scale emergencies like a health epidemic, war, or the apocalypse, understand that unforeseen circumstances may have varying degrees of impact on your business operations. No matter what the situation, there are a few necessary steps to take to build your emergency preparedness toolkit. The next subject of importance is sustenance. While the Oxford dictionary describes sustenance as "food and drinks regarded as a source of strength; nourishment", in an emergency, sustenance is linked to any means of survival, therefore the list for sustenance should have no end. This posting can only begin to touch the tip of the iceberg. CPR's team encourages you to have a full discussion with your team including business partners you depend on.
The Small Business Administration recommends creating your own Small Business readiness kit. While the SBA recommends a readiness kit that can hold you and your team for 48hrs, in the 21st century, CPR recommends an emergency readiness kit that can hold you and your team for as long as 7 days (1 week). That's the minimum time it takes to clear out a disaster including permitting citizens access in either direction. Below's list represents recommendations from Homeland Security and other government entities. CPR also incorporated a couple of ideas that were deemed necessary for emergency readiness.
Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
as a leader, you may assign each person to purchase their 5-gallon container to label and store either in their cars or if you have the accommodations.
Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
same as above, you can direct and have your team purchase their food supply since everyone's diet is different.
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
Flashlight, candles, candle holders, matchstick
First aid kit
Whistle (to signal for help)
Dust/surgical (in a CoVID environment) mask (to help filter contaminated air)
Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
Manual can opener (for food)
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Walkie talkies if possible
Invest in an air filter system
Water purifying tablets
Store 50 gallons of barrel outside your brick and mortar to capture rainwater (same for personal residence)
If you have space and an in-house garden for you and your team. Some of the favorites may include:
If you have the means for an outdoor garden, then by all means. You can compile the same or more goods with your team as if you were planning for your family. The point here is to not ignore what's looming ahead and plan accordingly. What other easy-to-grow herbs can you add? Leave in the comment section.
Part of business ownership is understanding the times that you are operating your business. CPR continues to sound the alarm and leads emergency preparedness discussions within the small business community. Your local government may not always be available to assist. Food for thought.