Top 10 steps to prepare your business for evacuation

If you are on evacuation alert or think you will be, there are important steps to consider

BC Economic Development Association

If you are on evacuation alert or think you will be put on evacuation alert, there are some important steps you will want to consider. If you have an evacuation plan, review the plan and start the implementation process.

If you do not have an evacuation plan, here are 10 things to consider:

1. Protect your information – back up electronic files using a USB stick, emailing them to yourself, backing up to an online ‘cloud’ and grabbing your laptop, external hard drive, or computer tower if needed.

2. Pack insurance and registration information for all commercial vehicles in your evacuation kit.

3. Preparing for an insurance claim – take pictures and/or a video of your business pointing out key equipment. Take a copy of your insurance documents with you.

4. Remove any uncertainty as to what staff should do in an emergency. Assign tasks to help staff respond as quickly as possible. Make sure you have their contact information and out of area contacts.

5. Turn off utilities – electrical and water, and remove any fire hazards that may be near the building. If you are evacuated, leave your gas service on. If fire or emergency officials request FortisBC to do so, they will turn off the utility service, or if there is an immediate threat to FortisBC infrastructure.

6. Empty cash from your cash register and seal in an envelope. Sign the envelope, the cash amount and the date across the seam. If you go to use any of this cash in your evacuation efforts, be sure to track how much of it you spend and if it is a business-related expense.

7. Make sure you have a list of links to emergency information.

8. Create a list of emergency phone numbers and key contacts, be sure you have access to this list if you are evacuated.

9. If there is an environmental threat 50 km or further from your place of business, you may still be eligible to register for business interruption insurance. In the case of wildfires, most insurance companies require that the nearest fire be no closer than 25 – 50 km from your place of business.

10. Contact suppliers about a potential delivery disruption (if applicable) and/or contact customers about a potential disruption in services (if applicable).