Top 10 FEMA Checklists That Add Value to Your BC and Emergency Response Plans

I’m a list maker. My sister is not. Going on vacation together illustrates this difference well. Before my trip, I sit down and make three checklists: items I need to purchase for the trip, tasks I need to complete before the trip, and things to pack. My sister wings it, throwing clothes in her suitcase the day before. Consequently, she ends up asking to borrow or share what I have. But because I haven’t packed for two, or don’t have what she needs specifically, we inevitably waste time tracking down what she is lacking.

But having everything you need for a trip is nowhere near as vital as has having all you need for effective business continuity (BC) and emergency plans and responses. For these, checklists can mean the difference between controlled mitigations and catastrophic outcomes.

Fun Fact: The U.S. Army first introduced preflight checklists during WWII after a pilot crashed during a test flight. They are still required by the FAA today.

Just imagine: It’s 10am and everyone is in the office…when an earthquake or some other disaster strikes. In the aftermath, you realize three of your employees suffered life-threatening injuries. Though you believe police and rescue will, at some time, sweep your area looking for injured, you need to let them know the mortal condition of your staff requires immediate attention. But the 911 call system is down. In all your careful planning, you never considered acquiring direct emergency responder dispatch numbers in the event of 911 failure.

This is just one scenario where a checklist would have benefited you greatly. But how can you ensure that your checklist contains the right items and know when it’s complete? You can begin with viewing checklists developed by planning and emergency response experts: FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Established in 1979, FEMA not only aids those in need in the wake of disaster, but also works to support citizens and organizations to “prepare, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters.”

In order to help drive your enterprise towards greater resiliency, we’ve compiled a top-10 list of FEMA’s most helpful BC and emergency response-relevant checklists and guides.

FEMA BC and Emergency Checklists

The most successful emergency responses and BC plans are those that are complete. Don’t ‘wing it’ during a disaster. Get your lists and check them twice. Your business, its reputation and customers are on the line.

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