Step 1) Establish an Emergency Preparedness (EP) Team

Assign Responsibilities for the EP Team

The first step in developing a Business Emergency Preparedness Plan is determining who will be involved in the planning process. For small businesses with just a few employees, it may make the most sense to have a single person working on the plan; for larger businesses, it will be valuable to put together a team of people.

It is important that those involved have enough collective knowledge of the business to ensure that all the critical assets and processes are covered in the plan.

Key Roles and Responsibilities for the EP Team

Planning and Implementation

  1. Develop the Business Continuity Plan
  2. Establish alert levels and monitor
  3. Develop training and cross-training plans
  4. Identify key business partners such as suppliers and clients and determine if they have a Business Continuity Plan
  5. Assess potential financial impact of an emergency on the business
  6. Ensure adequate amount of supplies and suppliers
  7. Local site manager(s) implements the plan
  8. Assemble Business Emergency Kits (PDF)
  9. Conduct drills to ensure that your company's emergency plan is effective
  10. Educate staff on how to protect themselves in a disaster, workplace response procedures, and how they prepare at home
  11. Secure and anchor equipment and furniture, including bookshelves, cabinets and computers
  12. Hold workshops on emergency preparedness topics, such as safety techniques, first aid and CPR, evacuation and damage assessment
  13. Conduct a "hazard hunt" to find potential dangers in your business setting
  14. Obtain agreements with vendors and customers for post-disaster operations

Policies, Procedures, Organization

  1. Establish policies such as compensation and absences, return to work procedures, telecommuting, flexible work hours, travel restrictions
  2. Define chain of command for plan implementation
  3. Establish trigger points and when to implement Business Continuity Plan
  4. Establish emergency safety policies for the workplace
  5. Establish policies for employees who are directly affected by the emergency


  1. Maintain good communications and manage relations with all staff levels
  2. Advise senior management
  3. Instill importance of the Business Continuity Plan throughout the organization
  4. Prepare accurate information to all employees
  5. Educate staff about possible emergencies
  6. Setup systems to monitor employees for an emergency

Tips for Businesses

Hold workshops to familiarize the employees with their roles and responsibilities as defined in the Business Continuity Plan. Workshops are normally conducted in a classroom setting.
Workplace Emergency Kit