Prepare: Stay in Business


“Up to 40% of businesses affected by a natural or man-made disaster never reopen,” according to the Insurance Institute. Determining how your business and your employees will recover from an emergency is a vital step in ensuring your continuity.

If employees are not prepared, they stay home, which hinders your business’ ability to stay in business!

Online Emergency Planner & App

Ready Nova was developed to assist residents and business owners in Northern Virginia to develop a family emergency plan or a business emergency plan through an easy to use online tool. The final plan can be saved as a PDF document and emailed to family, friends and colleagues.


Emergency Planning & Continuity of Operations Planning

An emergency plan enables businesses to reassure their employees, customers, suppliers and partners that they know what steps must be taken to continue their operations. Taking the “all hazards” approach will help to ensure that your plan meets all scenarios. 

Components of a plan include:

  • Emergency contact list and communications strategy
  • Hazard assessment and preparations of facilities
  • Essential functions necessary for continuity
  • Orders of succession and delegations of authority for decision making by leadership
  • Service commitments and contacts
  • Vital records management and back-up systems
  • Business insurance (contact and policy information)

Community Emergency Alert Network for Businesses

CEAN for Businesses Stay informed during an emergency by signing up for the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) for Businesses. By registering, businesses can:

  • Designate up to five employees to receive emergency alerts
  • Receive workplace preparedness information
  • Receive information regarding recovery efforts after an emergency

Employee Well-Being

If your employees can’t get to work, how will you stay in business? It is important for every business to:

  • Clearly identify shelter in place locations
  • Make evacuation plans
  • Stock and check supplies of food, water, first-aid and other emergency resources for employees
  • Define mental and physical health counseling and medical resources

Encourage employees to develop and practice their own emergency preparedness plans by making a kit, making a plan, and staying informed.  The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management provides free workplace preparedness presentations to educate local employees about personal and family preparedness for the home and workplace.

Test the Plan

Once your plan has been developed, it is important to train and exercise your plan with all of your employees and colleagues to ensure that the policies and procedures are well understood. 


Independent Study programs are available from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute:

Business & Nonprofit Update

Related Information

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