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Emergency Preparedness Essentials
 

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Risk Asessment

Risk assessment is a process that will allow you to identify and analyze likely scenarios for your business should a hazard or disaster occur. Conducting a business impact analysis (BIA) is the process for assessing the end result of a disruption of business due to a hazard and put together effective recovery strategies.

There are several hazards to keep in mind. Each hazard could have different possible scenarios occur depending on the magnitude, timing, and location. Consider hurricanes:

A hurricane that is predicted to pass over onto the shore near your business could instead change direction or go out to sea.

The storm could get bigger and become a major hurricane and pass over shore.

Hazards present risks to many “assets.” People’s safety and well-being should be considered first in the risk assessment. Proper emergency plans should be in place for the case of hazard scenarios that could significantly injure people. Physical assets can also be at risk. These would be things like information and technology, buildings, utility systems, raw materials, machinery, and finished goods. Consider how this will impact the environment. The incident could impact the relationships you have with your stakeholders, customers, and surrounding community. Think of anything that could happen that could make your customers lose confidence in your organization, services, or products.

While conducting the risk assessment, check for any weaknesses that would make an asset more likely to receive damage from a hazard. These weaknesses include deficiencies in process systems, building construction, protection systems, security, and loss prevention programs. They will add to the intensity of the damage from an incident. For example, if a building had a fire sprinkler properly installed and maintained, it would only suffer a little fire damage whereas a building without one could completely burn to the ground.

Hazard damages can be lessened if you invest in mitigation. A mitigation strategy needs to be developed if there is any potential for major impacts.

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