If you are a own commercial properties in California, then you know, like it or not, that earthquakes are a natural and eventual occurrence. Even if you are aware of this natural phenomena, are your prepared for it? Most business and property owners do not have plans for protecting their business in the cases of a natural disaster.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, conducted a study and the results were pretty sad. According to their research, about 60% of small businesses will reopen after an earthquake. Out of those 60% about one fourth of them will be out of business within a year. Here are some tips for creating your earthquake preparedness plan that will help to reduce your risks and protect your property.
Keeping People Safe
The first goal of any earthquake preparedness plan is to protect the lives of the people in your building. No one knows when an earthquake is likely to happen but there are some steps you can take that will have a huge impact on your ability to respond quickly.
How to report an emergency: Usually, earthquakes are not confined events but safety concerns from the damage might be. You should decide beforehand how people can report emergencies so that important information can be relayed quickly and first responders will be able to easily coordinate their efforts.
What are your evacuation procedures: You need to have a plan for safely evacuating employees or residents quickly. The plan should point out the nearest exits and paths to get to them need to be identified. Once this plan is drafted it should be posted in common areas of the building and every employee or resident should get a copy.
Keep track of employees: After any kind of natural disaster, one of the biggest challenges is accounting for missing people. To avoid this, put a plan in place, like a roll call, that keeps track of your employees and knows where they are at any time.
Shutting down equipment: After an earthquake there may be some machines, equipment, or systems that need to be turned off. Be prepared by knowing where these are located, and making sure your apartment or office manager also knows these locations and what to do.
Getting Your Building Prepared
The best way to protect the lives of your residents or employees in the case of an earthquake it to make sure your building meets current safety standards ahead of time. The city of Los Angeles has made changes to their building policies to ensure that construction after 1994, includes seismic modifications. Retrofitting an existing building to make it better able to withstand a quake, and the aftershocks, can help prevent your building from collapsing or tilting, and it can prevent damage during small scale activity.
To make sure your building is prepared it would be a good idea to have it assessed by a professional retrofitting company. They are up to date on state and local ordinances and they will help you to make sure your building is as safe at it can be.
If you want to know more about making your building safe, or are considering a retrofit, contact Retrofitting 360 to schedule an appointment.