As a new or small business you may have a lot of irons in the fire. Is a contingency plan one of them? As an established business, could your contingency plan be better? What is a contingency plan? Clean Earth Restorations explains what contingency planning is and how it can help you navigate a flood, a hazardous waste incident, or any remediation emergency you face in San Diego County.
A contingency plan, as it relates to restoration or remediation, is a set of actions and resources ready to use in the event of a fire, a flood, or other environmental issue that impacts your business. The plan is accessible and known to any administrator or employee who might find themselves in a position of action, leadership, or responsibility during such an event.
Why should you have such a plan?
- To save time (which in business, as we all know, is equivalent to money). Knowing who to call, what to do, and how to do it — without having to spend time researching — will save you time/money.
- To keep the doors open. Knowing how to quickly and efficiently respond to an environmental emergency helps you redirect your normal business processes and avoid skipping beats (or even shutting down).
- To ensure safety for your employees and customers. Thinking clearly, planning in advance when things are calm and normal, rather than in the heat of an emergency, allows you to make rational decisions in the best interest of your employees and customers, and in turn your business, and yourself.
- To comply with the law. Some situations may involve mandatory steps (think sewage spill in fast food restaurant…). Having a contingency plan in place ensures you are taking the right steps, and won’t get sued for accidentally forgetting one.
- To answer hard questions. Not every question can be answered with a contingency plan, but some can be. Do I need approval from someone to re-open my doors after a fire? We had a plumbing problem that resulted in a sewage back up, how long does a clean up operation last and until my employees can use the office again? There’s another big El Nino storm coming in this weekend, where can we find sandbags to protect our warehouse?
What should go into a restoration/remediation contigency plan? Every business’ contingency plan will be different, depending on the specific business. A good plan should address risks, develop actions, and describe how to maintain the plan.
Here is a list of points and considerations that can help you draft your plan:
- Risks: flood, fire, smoke, sewage spill, gas leak, criminal issues, mold, hazardous waste
- Contact details: emergency services providers, company decision makers, business service providers, employees, banking
- Procedures in the event of emergency / non-emergency
- Communications: ways to contact employees, customers and service providers
- Documents and records: storage, back up, retrieval
- Electronic and digital equipment: protection, removal, replacement
- Merchandise/stock: storage, removal, retrieval
- Emergency cash reserve and/or line of credit
- Insurance : coverage levels, representative contact details
- Restoration/remediation: check with insurance company before choosing
- Prevention: maintenance schedules, safety equipment testing, repair service providers
- Substitute shipping, service providers, office/warehouse space
- Rental equipment providers
- Temporary employment agencies
Depending on the size and make-up of your business, drafting a clear and complete contingency plan may be more or less difficult. For help thinking things through, consider consulting your business consultant, or letting us help you — we have years of industry-specific experience and information to help you.
Clean Earth Restorations has two decades of experience and expertise in restoration and remediation services. We can help you develop a contingency plan adapted to the needs of your particular business. Contact us today for a free estimate: