15 Steps to Readiness
  1. Brief Staff. Tell your staff what they have to do before, during and after an earthquake - at home, at work, in the office, or on the road. The pamphlet “Prepare Now for an Earthquake in BC” is available from your local municipal Emergency Management Office. Give a copy to each employee.
  2. Emergency Supplies. Keep enough emergency food, water, heat, lighting and sanitation supplies to last the average number of people on the premises for at least 72 hours.
  3. Assess Building Vulnerability. Assess how vulnerable your building is to earthquakes. Even if you rent or lease, make inquiries. Local structural engineers or contractors may be of assistance. As well, decide what type of temporary premises you may need.
  4. Reduce Hazards. Identify and reduce earthquake hazards within the premises. See checklist.
  5. Dangerous Goods or Hazardous Materials. Review procedures for the storage, use, transport and disposal of hazardous materials, and prepare an inventory.
  6. Assign Tasks to Staff. Remove any uncertainty as to what staff should do in an emergency. Assign tasks to help staff respond as quickly as possible. Train them so they know what to expect. Training is available from the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance or your local municipal Emergency Management Office.
  7. Resources. Determine the critical resources of your business (e.g. supplies, equipment, stock). Establish a backup supplier, preferably from out of town (i.e. outside of impacted area).
  8. Transportation. Consider how critical resources could be shipped or transported if normal routes are not available.
  9. Vital Records. Identify vital business records and documents (e.g., computer records). Store duplicates off premises. Set up a system for making regular backups.
  10. Communications. Telephone systems may be disrupted. Consider alternate methods of communication with employees, suppliers and customers.
  11. Review Insurance. Determine your earthquake insurance needs and arrange for additional coverage if required.
  12. Coordinate Plans. Coordinate emergency plans with other building tenants, neighbours and business partners.
  13. Community Involvement. Earthquakes affect entire communities, not just businesses. Your business may have a role to play in the recovery of your neighborhood or municipality. Contact your local municipal Emergency Management Office to discuss your possible role. They can also assist you with business emergency preparedness.
  14. Practice. Regularly practice earthquake response and recovery activities. Revise plans from the lessons that were learned.
  15. More Information - detailed information on these specific steps may be available in the "Earthquake Planning Guide" under "Resources"