The chaos caused by last year’s flooding that devastated the Lower Mainland and the destruction of Lytton caused by wildfire underlined the unpredictability of natural disasters and the need for businesses and communities to be prepared for the unexpected.
“Right after the floods and fires, the importance of being prepared as a business became very apparent,” City of Powell River community development officer Alexandra Young says.
Inspired to provide a resource for local communities, in partnership with the qathet Regional District, Young developed a free emergency preparedness toolkit for businesses.
“Basically, it’s all about business continuity,” Young says.
“Ensuring that when an emergency happens, you’re going to be able to start your businesses back up.”
The emergency preparedness toolkit guides businesses through all the areas they should consider when dealing with a potential emergency, including contingency planning and remote access to crucial documentation.
The end of the document also includes a template for businesses to complete that outline step by step all of the emergency planning considerations.
Young doesn’t anticipate it will require too much time to complete, especially if most of the steps have already been thought through and just need to be formally recorded.
“I’m also available as a resource if people need help filling out the document,” Young says.
“I’m not an emergency professional, but business is my business so I can help you with any business needs you have.”
Once local businesses complete the toolkit, the City will provide them decals that they can display on their storefronts or on their websites.
“The symbol tells people that they can go into a business with confidence that they are prepared in case something does happen,” Young says.
There is also an option for businesses to indicate that if the entire community is struggling in the event of a large emergency what resources they have to share.
“I really like that component because it shows that we can all come together as a community in case of disaster.”
To get your own copy of Powell River’s Business Emergency Preparedness Toolkit visit https://powellriver.ca/pages/sector-development-community-capacity-building.