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First Edition

7 steps to an
Earthquake Resilient Business
A Supplemental Guide to
Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Produced by:

with major support from:

and additional support from:

Copyright 2008, Southern California Earthquake 7 STEPS TO AN EARTHQUAKE
Center at the University of Southern California
Reproduction by permission only. Identify potential hazards. We live in Prepare disaster supplies kits. After a
Disclaimer: The suggestions, photos and illustrations included Earthquakes can and will happen in many parts of the United States while earthquake country, so that’s easy to identify, disaster, businesses will need to be self-suf-
in this document are intended to improve earthquake awareness Each step in this booklet will provide you with
you are at work. Similar to the actions described in “Putting Down Roots but are there other risks to your business? In ficient as first responders will be addressing
and preparedness; however, they do not guarantee the safety of a chance to identify areas in your business that
this step, you will identify what may interrupt high priorities such as hospitals and schools.
an individual, business, or a structure. The writers, contributors, in Earthquake Country” to make you safer at home, this booklet will pro- need strengthening, training opportunities,
and sponsors of this handbook do not assume liability for any your business operations temporarily or worse. Determine what you need in the first days fol-
injury, death, financial loss, property damage, or other effect of vide 7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business. Every area of the coun- and actions to be taken. They are designed so
The priorities you set here will help you in the lowing an earthquake including the basics like
an earthquake.
try relies on their local businesses to remain open after a disaster in order that every step builds from the last. Customize
other Steps. food, water and sanitation.
each step to suit your business type and needs.
for the community to recover quickly. For this to happen, people need to
7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business was prepared by
To get you started, here is a snap-shot of the
the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) Business Sub-Committee
in cooperation with the support from members of the ECA.
prepare at home and at work. If your workforce is not ready at home, they 7 Steps.
Begin addressing those hazards. Look at STEP 4
may be dealing with tragedy and unable to return to their jobs — what will your priorities, where your business is vulner- Identify your building’s potential weak-
Significant funding for the preparation of the booklet was pro-
able, and choose how to minimize these risks. nesses and begin to fix them. Most busi-
vided by the California Office of Emergency Services and admin-
you do without employees? It is just as important to protect your physi-
istered by the Southern California Association of Governments. If you secure it, it can be saved from earth- nesses lease their space, so it’s essential to
Funding for design and printing was provided by the USGS and cal building and the contents inside from damage, as well as train your quake damage or from hurting employees. work with your owner and property manager
other partners (see cover).
employees on what to do when disaster strikes at work — without taking on addressing structural issues. If you own it,
Producer: Mark Benthien, SCEC / ECA

Writer/Project Lead: Inés Pearce, Pearce Global Partners Inc.

these actions, you may have work stoppages or worse. STEP 2 strengthen those weaknesses. Either way, mea-
Create a disaster plan. After you have sures taken now can help you keep your doors
Writers: Amgen Inc.: Chris Wright; NBC – Universal: Mike
identified the potential hazards and impacts to open. No access, no business.
Ripley; Mathews Consulting: Nancy Mathews; Association of Great news — it doesn’t have to come to that. Here are 7 simple steps to
Contingency Planners (ACP) – Orange County Chapter: Rhonda your business, it’s time to create your plan and
guide your business to earthquake resiliency by taking actions before,
Russell; CapitalSource Bank: Joe Jaramillo; Jill Ganon
during, and after the shaking occurs so you can recover more quickly.
train employees! Because disasters are highly STEP 5
Contributors and Supporters: NBC – Universal: Bob Cavaglieri; unpredictable, it is impossible to anticipate Protect yourself and employees during
BICEPP/Caltech: Margaret Vinci; ACP – Orange County Chapter: This guide will focus on steps to prepare and protect you from earth- every situation and impact. However, a Busi- earthquake shaking – DROP, COVER, AND
Monique Weiland; Bob Lee; and many other members of the
Earthquake Country Alliance. quakes but it will also discuss and help you prepare for all hazards. For ness Continuity Plan can greatly reduce the HOLD ON. The ground is shaking, what do
specific earthquake hazard information, please refer to “Putting Down risks and losses your business might face by you do? The critical life safety step is Drop,
Special thanks to additional members of the Business and
Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparedness guiding your decisions yet allowing flexibility Cover, and Hold On. Stay clear of any objects
Roots in Earthquake Country” which provides excellent information on
(BICEPP) and the Association of Contingency Planners for to adapt to the unexpected. that may fall and stay put until the shaking
their support. faults, earthquakes forecasts, potential losses in major earthquakes, how stops.
Design: Denton Design Associates: Margi Denton to get prepared, and more. No matter what your industry or the size of
Photographer: Ann Elliott Cutting Photography: Ann Cutting your business, you can start today. And remember… we’re all in STEP 6
this together. After the earthquake, check for injuries
and damage. Life safety is the top prior-
ity after an earthquake or any disaster. Use
trained personnel to find anyone injured. Next,
survey your building for damage or other
hazards. Decide if safe to stay.

When safe, continue to follow your
disaster plan. Once life safety is being ad-
dressed, it’s time to begin recovery activities
to resume business operations. Conduct an
assessment for operational issues. Use your
plan to guide your actions and restore priority
operations first. Communicate often with
employees and key contacts. Document your
lessons learned to determine priorities before
the next event.

This supplement lists good resources.

For additional information and details, please

2 3
Manager, veterinary practice
Identify Critical Assets
Now make a second list to identify your busi-

HAZARDS ness’ most critical assets. These are the items PEOPLE employees
“Dogs, cats, birds, you name that if they were taken away, would cause
it — none of our patients can customers
A lot of the information you gather fend for themselves during an disruption to your business. To simplify identi- vendors
here will help you prioritize your earthquake. Between boarding, fying them, all your assets will fall into one of suppliers
surgeries and appointments, the following six categories: people, building, visitors
planning process in other Steps. we can have twenty animals equipment, data, inventory/products, opera-
In order to plan, you will need in the building. Talk about
tions. Regardless of your type of business,
to recognize potential hazards and potential chaos! I see six
earthquake hazards without losing a critical asset may cause significant DATA documents
how they may interrupt a part or even moving from my desk. financial loss. files
all of your business. I’m bringing it up at the next
The assets will differ from one business to records
staff meeting.”
another, although industries share commonali- server back-up tapes
ties. Here are examples of assets in each of
the categories.
OPERATIONS Look at your standard operating procedures
T o begin, take a sheet of paper and To begin identifying your potential internal hazards, begin by survey-
Once you have your list of hazards and list of
assets, you’ll be ready to assess where your
or SOPs and think of a disruption to your
make a list of your hazards. To simplify this, ing your area. This is as simple as walking around your business and revenue generating operations.
business is vulnerable to disruption. For each Accounts Receivable or Payable
here are examples of overall hazards that neighborhood. Look for hazards both internal to your organization and
of your six categories, you will decide the Payroll
can cause more specific disruptions from a external to your facility. Ask yourself a few questions to spark issues:
level of impact each hazard will have. The Manufacturing
small to a catastrophic scale: earthquakes, What’s around me? What should I be concerned with that may interrupt
exercise on the next page will assist you in Mail Room
fire, flood/water damage, human error, my business?
prioritizing areas that need to be addressed.
power outage, theft, security risk, etc. Most
One of the most common disruption or loss to small businesses is a
internal/external hazards will fall under
vulnerability of technology by not backing up computer data at all or
one of these. For more ideas of hazards to INVENTORY Stock
only to the desktop, then something happens to the computer taking with
consider on your list, please visit the Business supplies
it all the pertinent files and information. Here are a few more examples:
section of We raw materials
will explain how to actually address these TASK 1b
hazards later.
POTENTIAL INTERNAL HAZARDS: EQUIPMENT Computers (hardware & software)
b Unbraced shelves located next to exits
MY HAZARD LIST b Filing cabinets not bolted to the floor or wall studs specialty equipment
manufacturing machinery
EARTHQUAKE b Heavy or breakable items on high shelves or bookcases
FIRE b Not backing up computer data and/or not storing back-ups off site furniture
b BUILDING(S) Physical structure
WATER DAMAGE storage unit
THEFT warehouse
main office
SECURITY RISK b Other businesses in your area who may experience a disaster store front
capital lease
which could impact you

b Brick elements in your building structure or façade

b Near a railroad, airport, freeways



4 5

IMPACT TO CRITICAL BUSINESS ASSETS Now that you have prioritized where
1 = Negligible 1 = Negligible 1 = Negligible 1 = Negligible 1 = Negligible 1 = Negligible minimize your risk. While “Putting
2 = Marginal 2 = Marginal 2 = Marginal 2 = Marginal 2 = Marginal 2 = Marginal
3 = Critical 3 = Critical 3 = Critical 3 = Critical 3 = Critical 3 = Critical Down Roots” has images showing
Type of Event (samples) 4 = Catastrophic 4 = Catastrophic 4 = Catastrophic 4 = Catastrophic 4 = Catastrophic 4 = Catastrophic SCORE
what to do at home, this is what you
Earthquake 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
can do in the workplace. An example
Fire Response 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
is a business choosing to protect
Flood 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
specialty equipment, which is difficult
Hurricane 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
or expensive to replace from earth-
Power Outage 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 quake damage. If you secure it, it can
Plane Crash 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 be saved.
Terrorism 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Thunderstorm/Lightening 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Tornado 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
O ne of the questions that surfaces at this
early stage is cost. Many solutions are low or
Tsunami 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 no cost. Others may be more complicated with
Volcanic Eruption 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 a higher price tag but when compared with There are many easy-to-do items that do not require technical personnel to address. Put
Winter Storm 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 protecting employees’ lives, property, inven- these tasks at the top of the list, as you will have many quick successes. Your employees
tory, and keeping the business doors open, it will quickly see a safer work environment emerging. These solutions do not take a lot of
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
begins to balance out the decision. The benefit time or money, and can create great momentum towards getting the larger tasks accom-
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 for addressing hazards before the next disaster plished. Here are a few examples of these types of simple tasks and which impact areas
TOTALS is that you do not have to suffer the pain and they address:
high cost of damage repair and replacement.
PRIORITY > Move heavy items onto lower shelves. (people, operations, data, inventory, equipment)
If you add to all the post-disaster costs with
> Lock storage cabinets and file cabinets when not in use. (people, operations, data)
the psychological toll and stress, the pre-
> Do not stack boxes near exits. (people, operations, inventory)
disaster solutions pay for themselves. A recent
> Keep space cleared under your desk so you can Drop/Cover/Hold On.
Before you begin completing the table above, Above is a table to help you determine and Need another copy of this table? Please visit study shared by the Natural Hazard Center
(people, operations)
you will need to understand the difference prioritize your business risks. General types and download it. showed: for every dollar spent addressing
> Back-up computer files on regular basis. “Auto backup” is only
between the levels of impact. They are listed of events are listed in the left-hand column, hazards pre-disaster, four dollars in disaster
Congratulations, you have finished assess- to the computer, not to off site storage. Store back-up files
in order of escalation. but add your own in the blanks provided. losses are saved.
ing your risks. If you haven’t involved others off site (eg. fire safe box at home, off site storage).
Negligible – limited to no business disruptions in this process yet, consult with personnel in If you are not sure where to begin, start on (operations, data, inventory)
Begin with the first listed disaster event, earth-
or property damage your business about the results to ensure you high impact and low-cost solutions such as > Secure laptops or other items that can easily fall or
quake. Circle the number in each asset area to
Marginal – a hindrance that may effect business are considering the whole business picture. No moving heavy items to lower shelves. An be stolen. (people, operations, equipment, data)
score how the hazard would likely impact your
operations without shutting down, you have no one-person knows every facet to a business, important aspect to ensure success for the
business. Complete the other rows then total Note: These simple items are all internal to your building such
or minor damage, it may be an occurrence in so ask for their thoughts and revise priorities long-term is to be diligent with continuing the
your numbers for both columns and rows. As as its contents. Addressing building structural issues will be
neighborhood accordingly. solutions. Moving heavy items back to shelf-
the last step, prioritize which areas should be covered in Step 4.
Critical – temporary disruptions of business or tops after six months saves no one and only
addressed first, based on highest vulnerability,
major damage to the facility, impacts are to adds to your business’ vulnerability. Continue
then assign each column with your priority
community on the risk-reduction path by reinforcing and
number 1-6.
Catastrophic – a disaster that affects entire rewarding the safe behavior of all employees. protect it in strong winds. Now you can begin In this step, you have identified potential
regional community causing business disrup- Most people know earthquakes are a real risk. addressing those priority hazards. hazards to your business, determined your
The great news is that by addressing one
tions and forces closure of building(s). This is an If you haven’t already, refer to the scenario in critical assets, prioritized the impacts, and
solution you may also be limiting the negative For case studies and examples of businesses
event of large proportions. It can include com- “Putting Down Roots” as it may be a higher identified your solutions to mitigate the
effects of multiple hazards. For instance, that took preventive action and how well they
plete destruction, multiple injuries or deaths, risk than you think. impact. You are now ready to begin Step 2.
securing computers from earthquake damage fared after the disaster, compared to those that
and a regional event which means limited or no
can also protect them from theft, or strength- did not, please visit
outside resources available for some time.
ening a structure for earthquakes can also

6 7
First Aid and Employee Training

Consider organizing trained employees into
Even though every business and the risks they face are Director, hotel building staff
teams that can provide aid during an emer-

unique, basic plan elements apply to all. Determine
gency. Conduct annual training and regular PREPARE DISASTER “There’s ample opportunity for confu-
which elements make sense for your business and should sion on a good day at a big hotel. But
drills as they ingrain training principles and
be included in your plan. Even if you only include some SUPPLIES KITS staff and guests are most likely to rise
cause smoother, calmer reaction by employ-
basic elements in your plan, you will be ahead of the pack! to the occasion when measures are
ees during emergencies. Local resources can
be used to provide low cost/no cost train-
ing to employees. Resources include: fire
First responders and supplies may be over-
whelmed after an earthquake or other disaster.
in place to meet their most basic food,
safety, hygiene and communication
needs. We keep food and water in
The ability to contact employees and their families Businesses should take basic measures to be our disaster supply kits current; and
CREATE A DISASTER PLAN departments, American Red Cross, American
during a disaster is critical. You will need to self-sufficient during the early phases after we’re seeking expert
Heart Association, civic groups, and online advice about stock-
communicate if employees are injured, sick or unable disaster. Remember: food, sanitation, etc.,
You have identified the potential hazards and resources. piling medical
to leave the workplace. You will also need to contact may not be available. Encouraging employees
supplies that will go
impacts to your business, so it’s time to create employees regarding business status, where to report For an effective impact, provide information to be prepared at home and work will also beyond the medical
a plan! Because disasters are highly unpre- and what to do following a disaster. Create call lists to on individual/family preparedness during aid in prompt resumption of your business capacity of the
dictable, it is impossible to anticipate every include work, cell, home phone numbers and emails. company sessions. Employees prepared at operations. first aid kits we
situation and impact. However, a Business already have
home will promptly resume work and assist
Continuity Plan can assist with decision-mak- b KEY CONTACTS LIST. Key contacts are vendors, suppliers, customers,
your business. First Aid Kits vs. Disaster Supplies
on hand.”

ing in a crisis. etc. that you rely on to conduct business. You may need to notify property
As outside resources will be very limited after
management, utility companies, business partners, or others that you have
been impacted by a disaster. You will also want to determine if they have
TASK 2b an earthquake, companies should stockpile
Collaborate on Your Plan some supplies in order to support your em- Most businesses have a requirement to furnish
Work with your neighbors and similar busi- been impacted and how that will affect your business. Consider Service Level EMPLOYEE TRAINING
ployee base in the initial phases of a disaster. first aid kits in the workplace due to
nesses. During a disaster, it will be necessary Agreements (SLA) to identify the responsibility of these groups to you. Some businesses have requirements
Emergency and Disaster supplies should be Occupational Safety & Health Administration
for on-site emergency responders for
to help each other out as much as possible as b CRITICAL BUSINESS FUNCTIONS. Identify the functions in your operations that are
daily emergencies that may include
easily accessible, in protected locations, and (OSHA), state, or other regulations. First aid
first responders are limited and will focus on critical for business survival. Which functions are necessary to fulfill legal and financial obliga- easily dispersed. Keep track of perishable kits are only one part of supplies needed to
hospitals and schools first. Determine your floor wardens and first aid trained
tions? Which are necessary to maintain cash flow and reputation? How long can your business disaster supplies and replace regularly. Also, support an employee base after a disaster. As
needs ahead of time and how you can share employees. To address disasters, it is
be down and remain viable? How will you continue to perform these functions in a disaster employees should be encouraged to keep a first aid kits are designed to handle only day-
resources, supplies, etc. optimal to also have employees trained
situation? three day supply of personal medications at to-day minor injuries, businesses should con-
in the following:
work. sider stockpiling additional medical supplies
b VITAL RECORDS. Identify the records that are essential to perform your critical functions.
b EVACUATIONS: Train designated to handle a greater number and larger type of
Vital records may include employee data, payroll, financial and insurance records, customer
George data, legal and lease documents. Are any impossible to re-create or are copies stored offsite?
employees to initiate evacuations injuries. Additional Supplies should match the
Owner, construction company when an emergency arises, sweep the level of employees’ training.
“First aid situations come up in con- b CRITICAL EQUIPMENT/MACHINERY. Determine what equipment or machinery is work place to ensure employees have
struction, but earthquakes — I need necessary to keep your business operational. What would you do if you lost critical equipment? left, and account for employees in a
training for myself and everybody who Do you have spare parts or equipment stored at an offsite location? Can you get a replacement? safe area outside
crews and heavy b RECOVERY LOCATIONS. Would you be able to recover from an alternate site? Do you b “DROP/COVER/HOLD ON” AND A minimum 3-day supply should be kept on hand including:
equipment out on have multiple locations? Are you site dependent? You may consider setting up another site or EARTHQUAKE PROCEDURES:
three or four jobs,
how can I expect
establishing an agreement to rent space in a disaster situation. All employees should be trained on b FIRST AID KITS/MEDICAL SUPPLIES

my foremen to b LIFE SAFETY – EMERGENCY RESPONSE. Develop a team of first responders. Local
proper earthquake procedures includ- b FOOD – canned, packaged, ready to eat
manage their sites
during a disaster
authorities and emergency response may not be able to respond immediately. Having a trained
ing “Drop/Cover/Hold On” techniques b WATER – enough for one gallon/per person/per day

unless I have team onsite can help save lives. See later in this Step for employee training. b FIRST AID/CPR: Pre-designate and b LIGHTING – flashlight & extra batteries, lanterns, light sticks
disaster plans in
place, and make b PLAN EDUCATION. Educate employees on your plan, how it works, recovery strategies, call
train employees to provide first aid b COMMUNICATIONS – portable AM/FM radio and extra batteries, portable TV

sure we all get trees, etc., so they are ready.

after emergencies
b TOOLS – basic hand tools: hammers, screw-drivers, wrenches, etc.
schooled. I put
b MAINTENANCE AND TESTING. Update the plan when a change in your business
new people on
all year long so impacts the information in the plan. Testing your plan is extremely important as it’s the only way
FIRE SAFETY: All employees should
be trained in basic fire safety and what
we need regular
drills to keep things
to know if your plan works and the employees know what to do!
to do if a fire occurs in the workplace.
b FOOD PREPARATION – portable stoves/grills for outdoor use, can openers, mess supplies

calm if it starts For sample scenarios to assist your planning and other planning resources, visit www. Designated employees should also b HYGIENE AND SANITATION SUPPLIES
shaking.” receive additional training utilizing fire b ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES to meet the training level of your employees: first aid, Community
extinguishers to suppress small fires Emergency Response Team (CERT), EMT

8 9
4 Lee
Store manager, clothing shop
IDENTIFY YOUR BUILDING’S “I love working in a place that’s an ar- PROTECT YOURSELF
chitectural treasure. But is the ground
POTENTIAL WEAKNESSES AND floor of this hundred year old, four-story
BEGIN TO FIX THEM building structurally sound? I have no EARTHQUAKE SHAKING —
idea, so I sent an email to my boss, and
copied it to the owner of the building.
In Step 1 you identified hazards most We’re meeting next week to talk about
likely to disrupt your business and possible hazards.” When at work and the earthquake
how to address lower cost ones. starts shaking — the critical initial
Review the analysis for any priority step for life safety is to: Drop under-
you chose to reduce or eliminate the neath a sturdy desk or table, Cover
potential for injury, property damage your head and neck, and Hold On to
or business interruption. Now begin the furniture as it moves and stay until
addressing structural hazards that the shaking stops. If there is no desk/
Bring in expert advisors Learn about the other safety systems in place. DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON
could interrupt your business, Does the building have sprinklers? Does it
table nearby, move to an internal wall,
Not sure where to start? Do some homework When the ground is shaking, you need to protect yourself quickly from things that may fall
typically those items that were high to determine which additional measures to have smoke and/or heat detectors? Does it drop to the floor and cover your head or are being projected across the room with great force. Your head should be lower than the
impact — potentially higher cost. take to protect your business. Ideally this have emergency power? How has the build- and neck. Stay clear of objects that next highest surface such as a desk, table or other sturdy furniture which will take the brunt
will be done before you lease or purchase ing and surrounding area been effected by may fall, windows, or anything that of the impact. Your life and the lives of your co-workers are of highest importance. As
a facility. Talk to the experts to learn what disasters in the past? Asking these types of some people will panic, stand frozen in place or run out of the building, they become a tar-
may harm you.
W hile most businesses do not own their damage might be expected in a seismic event questions now will help you with custom- get for the dangerous objects that are moving within and off of a building. The earthquake-
building, it is essential to work with your and to help you prioritize solutions. Structural izing your own disaster plan and emergency safe action is to Drop, Cover, and Hold On to ride out the shaking.
owner and/or property manager on address- engineers and your local Fire Marshall may be response procedures.
ing structural issues. A good relationship can able to help you understand the building code SAFE PLACES IN THE OFFICE HAZARDS IN YOUR SAFE PLACES
assist you getting access to your property or and how its application affects your building. Own In Step 1 you identified possible hazards to While there are many safe places to Drop,
Businesses who own their buildings should
inventory, while structural damage can keep Depending on the year built, a building may Chef/owner, small restaurant your business and learned that earthquakes Cover, and Hold On, there are potential
you from opening for business. If you own be designed to not collapse, but still may not look to the experts for guidance in address- are a real threat. It is important to know hazards that might keep you unsafe. Prac-
“We’re doing a great lunch business.
your building, take the time to strengthen be operational following an earthquake. Also, ing identified vulnerabilities. Prioritize fixing what to do to protect you and your em- ticing with annual drills is a simple way to
So I was thinking, what if there was
weaknesses or replace elements that may if needing to relocate, keep code issues in weaknesses based on those which could most an earthquake? If we have customers ployees. Common safe areas and consider- educate all employees on what to do and
injure people or keep you from reopening. mind for the new site. significantly impact your ability to do busi- at—or under—every table, how do my ations for Drop, Cover, and Hold On are: highlight issues that can be easily rectified
Strengthening protects you, your employees ness. If you know you need to strengthen your employees protect themselves? I’m such as:
bringing them all in to do a drill and > Under desk
and customers, and allows you to return to Lease building, consult with licensed, reputable,
figure out how to best handle that rule > Under a sturdy table > Boxes under desk
operating more quickly. If you lease your building, we encourage you experienced retrofitters to discuss your options to drop, cover and hold on.” > Away from windows > Not enough space
to contact your owner/property manager and and have them provide a free estimate. Home-
> Stay low > Near windows
develop a relationship with them now, before based businesses are considered a high-risk
> Cover head & neck
the disaster occurs. If your research uncovered group, since you have the potential of losing Once the hazards are identified, the next
> Next to large furniture like a sofa,
a need for seismic retrofitting of your build- both your business and your home. We recom- step is to fix them immediately. When the
over-stuffed chair
ing, work with your owner/manager to consult mend using “Roots” for both structural and ground starts shaking, it is too late.
with various reputable, licensed, experienced non-structural residential solutions.
retrofitters to provide an estimate and consider
The goal of all businesses is to continue Just like the annual employee drills, create
strengthening options. Also, discuss how you
operations or restore them as quickly as pos- actions and procedures to address visitors
will communicate with each other following
sible following a disaster. Taking steps now, and customers. A simple step is to present
a disaster. Without connections in advance,
will save much time, money and energy after emergency briefing information to all
tenants may not get access to their site after
disaster and will increase our ability to sustain visitors before each meeting, so they are
an event.
your business. Consider getting involved with aware of what to do during an earthquake.
organizations such as the Building Owners It is also helpful to have employees
and Managers Association (BOMA) who can pre-identified to be responsible to tell non-
assist connecting tenants with owners, and employees what to do.
other resources.

10 11
Activate trained employees contact 9-1-1 if available. If not available, use
6 In an earlier step, you identified training for
your employees, and this is when it goes into
a radio or send a runner to locate a trained first
aid responder to assist them.

action. Life safety is the priority at this stage

of the disaster, especially if you have limited
CHECK FOR INJURIES personnel. Start by activating the “person Once immediate life safety is being addressed Joe
AND DAMAGE in charge” or their designee as they may be or stabilized, it is time to move to building & Manager, downtown bank Once all life safety concerns are addressed, it is time to begin recovery activities
absent or injured. This is the decision-maker operations needs. First, inspect the exterior “Understandably, people want and to resume your business operations. Keep in mind some aspect of your business
Once the shaking has stopped it is for the organization but won’t necessarily of your building for damage. Check for these need access to their funds in the may never return to “normal” after a disaster. To be resilient is to be flexible to
be the CEO during a disaster. If you have a potential hazards: aftermath of an earthquake. I hope
time to emerge from your safe places. recover in this changed environment and make the business survive and thrive.
there’ll be no disruption to our busi-
larger business, the activation will be of your
First, check for people injured, then > Fire ness, but you just never know. My job
trained responders who are carrying out your is to do my best to keep customers Detailed Assessment Recovery Activities “Things to Consider”
look for serious damage. Decide if it’s > Damage to utilities
response procedures. The first decision to continuously updated about access You completed a facilities inspection, but now As you are working to restore interrupted
> Leaking gas
safe to stay. be made is whether to evacuate or stay put. to our banking services, and their
> Chemical spill you need a more detailed assessment of op- services, here are a few areas to consider that
Fire procedures are clearly to evacuate, but money.”
> Obvious structural damage erational issues. Based on what you found in might have an impact on how or when you
in an earthquake, being outside of your new your facilities inspection in Step 6, prioritize resume operations.
> Falling hazards during aftershocks
Nadine building may be more dangerous where there your findings by what is most important and
> Temporary v. permanent relocation
Director, dialysis center is falling debris from other buildings. Training then begin to create an action plan. If neces-
If it appears safe, then inspect the interior
employees pre-disaster will help with good > Availability of resources
“If you’re a medical professional in structure. If at any time during inspection, sary, conduct additional assessments, possibly
disaster decision-making. > Customer needs
earthquake country, employee train- inside or outside, you find a significant hazard, bringing in professionals such as structural
ing can make all the difference in > Staff availability
consider whether occupants need to be engineers. In your action plan, show how you
the world to a patient’s well-being. Addressing life safety > Infrastructure — what is occurring in the
evacuated or relocated. will address these issues based on their criti-
Once the shaking stops, we put our Regardless of whether you evacuate or stay surrounding neighborhood that may
training into action: first we see to cality to operations.
put, you need to account for your employees. Next, perform a more detailed facilities impact you
our patients’ medical needs, then we
This is a basic check on the welfare of the inspection to assess utilities and specialized At this stage of the disaster it is important to
check for obvious structural damage
or other hazards to help us figure employees and any visitors. If you do have equipment — do they work? Use information look more thoroughly at business operations. Full restoration of services/production
out if we should stay put or begin to people injured, work with trained staff to gathered to determine impacts on your ability What you find may impact the following ar- At this point you need to work with your
evacuate.” to resume or continue operations. Look for eas: communications, recovery activities, and community and your partners to reconnect to
manage their care, but only to the level that
matches their training. If you need to move damage to critical files and/or data. restoration of services and or production. your customers as well as get help. Look to
people out of danger, make sure it is safe to do businesses and/or government for assistance
so. For those that are more severely injured, Establish a hub (location or person) to Communications if you need it. Resources can be found at the
receive reports of damage and injuries First determine what communication is needed local, state, and national level. Use this time
Depending on the scale of the earthquake and how you can be successful. Consider to enhance existing relationships by keeping
or other disaster, it is important to establish your different target groups as each must be them in the communication loop and share
TASK 6 a centralized location, or hub, to manage handled differently. Communicate with em- your available resources with them, especially
INJURY AND DAMAGE information on life safety and building & ployees, customers, vendors, stakeholders, and if it might assist your community.
ASSESSMENT operations. This will help with key decision- key business partners often. Consider alternate
After an earthquake, your trained making, tracking issues, documenting a pro- communications methods in a disaster, such Lesson Learned
employees can start to perform gression of the disaster, and lessons learned. as your website, through telephone calls, or if You are on the road to recovery, but it is still
what they have learned. For a very small organization, the hub may there is no power then utilizing the U.S. Postal important to develop your list of lessons
just be a person. Service. learned before the memories fade. This will
b Address life safety help you to implement changes to operations,
This central location, or emergency opera- One of the simplest but important communica-
b Address exterior
tions center, can help communicate status with tion is to let your customer base, or the public
add to your plan, then circle back to Step 1
building safety and lessen future impacts. Since we cannot
employees such as whether it is safe to stay, at large, know when you are open for business.
b Address internal
where to relocate employees if not, when it is If your surrounding area has been hard hit this
stop earthquakes from occurring it is impor-
building safety tant that we take steps today to minimize loss
safe to leave, routes to evacuate and so forth. may be more difficult, but banners and other
of people and property.
b Perform more detaild It also can become an easier way to document advertising will help you, as can the media.
building assessment
damage for insurance, public and customer
b Establish a hub purposes, by centralizing disaster files, photos,
video, receipts, etc. as the disaster progresses.

12 13
Great information to secure your space (how to
secure building contents, electronics, breakables;
b Identify potential internal hazards EARTHQUAKE SHAKING —

and how to secure the structure of the building) to

b Identify potential external hazards DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON

protect from earthquake damage

b Create My Hazard List b Know how to Drop, Cover,
b Identify critical business assets Hold on b Complete the Risk Assessment Matrix b Identify safe places
Read online or order copies of “Putting Down Roots b Begin addressing hazards by starting b Keep safe places clear from hazards
in Earthquake Country” including the 7 Steps to on no/low cost items with high impact b Educate visitors what to do during
Earthquake Safety at home, the site also has great an earthquake
information about general understanding of STEP 2 CREATE A DISASTER PLAN
earthquakes and specific faults in California b Complete Basic Plan (see page 8)
b Employee Emergency Contacts CHECK FOR INJURIES AND
b Key Contacts List DAMAGE
Comprehensive earthquake drill planning resources
developed for the Great Southern California b Critical Business Functions b Activate trained employees after
b Vital Records an earthquake
Shakeout, November 13, 2008. The materials are
useful for planning simple to advanced drills at b Critical Equipment/Machinery b Address life safety

any time. b Recovery Locations b Care for injured

b Life Safety — Emergency b Address building & operations b Inspect the building exterior
Earthquake preparedness information and resources for damage and/or hazards
b Maintenance and Testing
in Spanish, including the Spanish-language version
b Collaborate on Your Plan b Inspect the building interior
of “Putting Down Roots.” for damage and/or hazards
b Plan Education
b Perform a more detailed assessment
b Evacuation of impacts to utilities, special
b Drop/Cover/Hold On Procedures equipment, etc.

1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722)
b First Aid/CPR b Establish hub for communications

E-mail: DISASTER RESOURCE GUIDE b Fire Extinguishers and Fire Safety
Provides current National Threat Level, national (714) 558-8940
Provides excellent information regarding types and
security programs, preparedness and response STEP 3 PREPARE DISASTER TO FOLLOW YOUR
programs, applying for disaster assistance, A source for Business Continuity news, articles, SUPPLIES KITS DISASTER PLAN
applying for disaster assistance, disaster plan, and
other resources
resources, training trends, and a guide for additional resources b Disaster Supplies Kits (see page 9) b Perform a more detailed assessment
of operational issues
(American Federation of Scientists) Unexpected, Disaster Preparedness POTENTIAL WEAKNESSES AND target groups
(202)546-3300 Strategies for Small Business BEGIN TO FIX THEM b Consider recovery activities
SBA’s Expect the Unexpected: Prepare Your b Identify structural weaknesses b Fully restore operations/production
Business for a Disaster with tips and resources
Business Section – Information on how to create us/od/docs/promo/pages/docs/online
b Contact outside experts if needed b Document lessons learned
on a variety of disaster types disasterbrochure.pdf
a plan for continuity, an emergency response plan, b Address structural issues if you lease b Return to Step 1 to update plan
This brochure offers some great additional informa-
and information on multiple hazards and resources
tion on how businesses can prepare for disasters
b Address structural issue if you own

(404) 498-1515 / (800) 311-3435 202.962.3979
Business Section – Information on how to create
Emergency Preparedness and Response Section
a plan for your business, training and awareness Obtain information on preparing at home, work,
– Obtain information regarding specific health
aids, downloadable information school, and in your community
threats, how to plan for them and how to create a
supply kit

14 15
Will your business
be open or closed after the
next big earthquake?