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Preparedness Planning for Your Business

Business and their staff face a variety of Hazards:

  • Natural hazards like floods, winter storms, and earthquakes.

  • Health hazards such as widespread and serious illnesses like the flu.

  • Human-caused hazards including accidents and acts of violence.

  • Technology-related hazards like power outages, cyber-attacks and equipment failure.

There is much that a business leader can do to prepare his or her organization for the most likely hazards. The FEMA Ready Business program helps business leaders make a preparedness plan to get ready for these hazards.


Ready Business Toolkits

The Ready Business Toolkit series includes hazard-specific versions for earthquake, inland flooding and power outage. Toolkits offer business leaders a step-by-step guide to build preparedness within an organization. Each toolkit contains the following sections:

  • Identify Your Risk

  • Develop A Plan

  • Take Action

  • Be Recognized and Inspire Others

Earthquake "QuakeSmart" Toolkit

Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes occur without warning and cannot be predicted. It is important that you understand your risk, develop preparedness and mitigation plans, and take action.

QuakeSmart Ready Business Toolkit

Inland Flooding Toolkit

Most of the United States is at some risk for flooding, so it is important that organizations, businesses, and community groups understand the potential impacts.

Inland Flooding Ready Business Toolkit

Power Outage Toolkit

While a Power Outage may not seem as dangerous as an earthquake or flood, they can still cause damage to homes, businesses and communities.

Power Outage Ready Business Toolkit


Ready Business Videos

The Ready Business Program provides leaders with the tools to plan, take action, and become a Ready Business. The program addresses several key parts of getting ready, including Staff, Surroundings, Physical Space, Building Construction, Systems, and Service. These videos briefly explain some of the concepts.

Physical Space Video

Systems Video

Staff/Employee Management Video


Program Management

Leadership and Commitment

The preparedness program is built on a foundation of management leadership, commitment and financial support. Without management commitment and financial support, it will be difficult to build the program, maintain resources and keep the program up to date.


Invest in a Preparedness Program

It is important to invest in a preparedness program. The following are good reasons:

  • Up to 40% of business affected by a natural or human-caused disaster never reopen. (Source: Insurance Information Institute)
  • Customers expect delivery of products or services on time. If there is a significant delay, customers may go to a competitor.
  • Larger businesses are asking their suppliers about preparedness. They want to make sure that their supply chain is not interrupted. Failure to implement a preparedness program risks losing business to competitors who can demonstrate they have a plan.
  • Insurance is only a partial solution. It does not cover all losses and it will not replace customers.
  • Many disasters - natural or human-caused - may overwhelm the resources of even the largest public agencies. Or they may not be able to reach every facility in time.
  • News travels fast and perceptions often differ from reality. Business need to reach out to customers and other stakeholders quickly.
  • An Ad Council survey reported that nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents said they do not have an emergency plan in place for their business.
  • According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses:
    • Represent 99.7% of all employer firms
    • Employ about half of all private sector employees
    • Have generated 65% of net new jobs over the past 17 years
    • Made up 97.5% of all identified exporters. 

How much should be invested in a preparedness program depends upon many factors. Regulations establish minimum requirements and beyond these minimums each business needs to determine how much risk it can tolerate. Many risks cannot be insured, so a preparedness program may be the only means of managing those risk. Some risk can be reduced by investing in loss prevention program, protection systems and equipment. An understanding of the likelihood and severity of risk and the costs to reduce risk is needed to make decisions.


Preparedness Policy

A preparedness policy that is consistent with the mission and vision of the business should be written and disseminated by management. The policy should define roles and responsibilities. It should authorize selected employees to develop the program and keep it current. The policy should also define the goals and objectives of the program. Typical goals of the preparedness program include:

  • Protect the safety of employees, visitors, contractors and others at risk from hazards at the facility. Plan for persons with disabilities and functional needs.
  • Maintain customer services by by minimizing interruptions or disruptions of business operations
  • Protect facilities, physical assets and electronic information
  • Prevent environmental contamination
  • Protect the organization's brand, image and reputation

Program Committee and Program Coordinator

Key employees should be organized as a program committee that will assist in the development, implementation and maintenance of the preparedness program. A program coordinator should be appointed to lead the committee and guide the development of the program and communicate essential aspects of the plan to all employees so they can participate in the preparedness effort. Find more information on Program Committees and Program Coordinators HERE.


Program Administration

The preparedness program should be reviewed periodically to ensure it meets the current needs of the business. Keep records on file for easy access. Lastly, where applicable, make note of any laws, regulations and other requirements that may have changed. Find more information on program administration HERE.


Ready Business How-To Guide


Helping Kids Prepare and Respond in Emergencies

Preparing for emergencies shouldn't just be done by the adults in your family. Young children and teens alike need to be part of the process — for their own safety and sense of empowerment.

Some disasters strike without any warning, and family members may not all be in the same place.

How will you get in touch with each other?
Where will you meet?
How will you get out of your house in case of a fire?
What if your neighborhood is being evacuated?

BEFORE a disaster strikes Make A Plan

  • Pick the same person for each family member to call or email. It might be easier to reach someone who's out of town.
  • Text, don't talk, unless it's an emergency. It may be easier to send a text, if you have a phone, and you don't want to tie up phone lines for emergency workers.
  • Create a fire escape plan that has two ways out of every room and practice it twice a year.
  • Choose a meeting spot near your home, then practice getting there.
  • Choose a spot outside of your neighborhood in case you can't get home. Practice getting there from school, your friends' house, and after school activities.
  • Keep your family's contact info and meeting spot location in your backpack, wallet, or taped inside your school notebook. Put it in your cell phone if you have one.

It's important to make a plan now so that you will know what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency. Family E Prep Image

Responding to an emergency is one thing ... what's the best way to respond to your child during or after a disaster?

 Disasters can leave children and teens feeling frightened, confused and insecure.  It's important to not only recognize these reactions, but also help children cope with emotions.

You are their biggest influence. When you can manage your own feelings, you can make disasters less traumatic for your kids.


 coping burst








Emergency Supply Kit Checklists

         Planning kit for Parents or Kids

Emergency Communication Plan

         Planning kit for Parents or Kids


Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) Emergency Action Plan

KPBSD Emergency Guidelines

Should an emergency situation ever arise in our area while school is in session, we want you to be aware that schools have made preparations to respond effectively. Should we have a major earthquake or other emergency during school hours, your child will be cared for at school. In fact, schools in Alaska are built to meet stringent construction standards and they may be safer than your own home in the event of a disaster.

Do not telephone the school. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.

It is important to complete the sign-out process when picking up students at school. We would like to avoid the possibility of sending emergency responders into a dangerous situation looking for a missing student that simply left without checking out. We also want to maintain accurate information about students that have checked out in case another family member is looking for them. An emergency card is required to be filled out by parents at the beginning of every school year.

Impress upon your child the need for them to follow the directions of any school personnel in times of an emergency. Please familiarize yourself with the school Emergency Action Plan and discuss these matters with your immediate family. Planning ahead will help alleviate concern and allow us to maintain a calm and organized response in the event of emergency.

The decision to keep students at school will be based upon a variety of factors. If this occurs, radio stations will be notified. Turn your radio to KPEN 102.3 FM, KWAVE 104.9 AM, KSRM 920 AM, KBBI 890 AM or KDLL 91.9 FM for emergency announcements.

Since local telephone service may be disrupted, list an out-of-state contact on the emergency card since calls may still be made out of the area while incoming calls are affected.

In the event of a major emergency, your district schools will need the assistance of community members. Supplies will be needed to provide for the children and volunteers will be needed to assist with clean up and the care and shelter of the children until they are picked up by a designated family member or friend. We would encourage you to consider the possibility of serving as an emergency volunteer.

KPBSD School Safety Protocol website

Pets and Animals

Preparing for emergencies should include preparing for your pets.

Make a Plan

Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, develop your plan and get them ready today.

If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors.plan dog

Plan options include:

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
  • Identify evacuation destination for your pet. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
  • Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current and keep records in your go kit.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

Tips for Large Animals

If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.

  • Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
  • Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
  • Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
  • Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
  • If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.

Take extra time to observe livestock, looking for early signs of disease and injury. Severe cold-weather injuries or death primarily occur in the very young or in animals that are already debilitated.

Animals suffering from frostbite don’t exhibit pain. It may be up to two weeks before the injury becomes evident as the damaged tissue starts to slough away. At that point, the injury should be treated as an open wound and a veterinarian should be consulted.

Make sure your livestock has the following to help prevent cold-weather problems:

  • Plenty of dry bedding to insulate vulnerable udders, genitals and legs from the frozen ground and frigid winds
  • Windbreaks to keep animals safe from frigid conditions
  • Plenty of food and water

Build a Kit

Include basic survival items and items to keep your pet happy and comfortable. Start with this list, or download Pet Emergency Go Kit to find out exactly what items your pet needs to be ready.

  • Food. At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
  • Medicines and medical records.
  • Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
  • First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
  • Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
  • Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
  • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
  • Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.

pet emergency preparedness infographic 1

Whole Community is a plan to bring people, organizations, and resources together to help those in need during a disaster or emergency.

Whole Community is a means by which residents, emergency management practitioners, organizational and community leaders, and government officials can collectively understand and assess the needs of their respective communities and determine the best ways to organize and strengthen their assets, capacities, and interests.

Whole Community brings together:

  • Nonprofit Sector
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector
  • Government

Whole Community Principles:

  • Understand and meet the actual needs of the whole community
  • Engage and empower all parts of the community
  • Strengthen what works well in communities on a daily basis

Whole Community kick-off events will be taking place this year at several locations across the Kenai Peninsula. If you are a non-profit or individual interested in disaster response, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (907) 262-4910 for more information.



Emergency Management Director

Scott Walden



Janelle Hames


Administrative Assistant

Bonnie Hanson


Program Coordinator