A lot of people ask – can you truly DIY your own Disaster Plan? We totally think you can, and we have compiled a list of tips – full of questions and considerations – to tackle as you get started.
Tip 1 – Research!
There is a ton of information out there on Disaster Planning, including books, countless articles, training classes and of course – the SecureCore blog 😊…. If you are short on time and like what you see here, please feel free to use our blog as a starting point for wrapping your head around DIY’ing a Disaster Plan.
- Tip 1 Side Note: If you have not been following along yet – we’ve covered a lot with our blog posts so far – the 6 building blocks of a disaster implementation plan (link here), the 8 essential elements that every Disaster Plan should have (hint: the list includes Utility Shut Offs, Call Lists, Community Resources and MORE – read full details here and here).
Tip 2 – Use or build resources to house the Disaster Plan.
Start by evaluating the resources you have available. Do you already have something in place that your team uses, that could be repurposed or enhanced with adding in the Disaster Plan? A platform that makes distribution, access and updating easy?
You are going to spend a lot of time building your Disaster Plan. It is crucial that your time and effort does not go to waste. Using existing resources, or identifying new and easy to use tools, and then making sure the team has access are the first half of the battle.
Tip 3 – Practice and train your team.
Once the location and format of the Disaster Plan are in place, essentially you have a “house” for it, and some content built into it, then it’s time to roll out the plan to your team. Train them on what each section holds and why. Gain their buy in on the elements you have included and take their advice for edits and additional inclusions (after all, they have a different perspective and probably work on the property daily…. they may have some great advice you had not thought of yet).
IMPORTANT: Make sure the Disaster Plan is reviewed and updated regularly – this is a key aspect to successful Disaster Plan implementation. And make sure that education on how to access and use the Disaster Plan are part of every new employee’s orientation program. After all, what good is it going to be in a true emergency if no one knows how to find it, or the phone numbers are out of date
SecureCore Pro-Tip: Set aside specific time to train new employees and refresh the plan. Some of our best and most prepared SecureCore clients work with us to hold a standing monthly meeting to train new employees and refresh their plans.
Tip 4 – Dedicate time and bandwidth to properly produce a good Disaster Plan.
Before you begin, ask yourself: Do YOU have the time and bandwidth to craft the Disaster Plan? If not, is there someone on your team who could assist, or who would benefit from this task being delegated to them?
SecureCore Pro-Tip: building a disaster plan and interviewing staff and vendors to understand what should be included could be a great way for a new person/employee to learn about your property! (If you can audit and check for accuracy along the way and provide the framework to get them started).
Tip 5 – Reach out if you need help.
Talk to your sister property, a senior staff member, or someone in your company who has been through a major property disaster or emergency. What did they use first? What do they wish they had thought of ahead of time? What do they recommend you include or consider in your Disaster Plan?
SecureCore Pro-Tip: You can also reach out to us – we are passionate about disaster planning and want to connect with you, even if you are not yet a SecureCore client. We also have some resources to offer. If you’d like a copy of our free checklist to help with building your own plan, shoot us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. The checklist covers a lot of the themes and talking points we have been discussing here and in our previous blog posts.