Will your business survive a natural or man-made disaster?  Statistically, four out of ten will not.  If you think it can’t happen here in Portland, think again.  The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 680-mile fault off the Pacific Northwest Coast.  It is capable of producing a 9.0 mega-quake.  Historically earthquakes along that fault occur on average every 250 years, and according to the U.S. Geological Survey a quake is overdue as there has not been one for at least 312 years.

If you want to improve the probability that your company will be one of the six to survive and be able to resume operations as quickly as possible after a disaster start with the following six simple steps:

  1. Visit www.readyrating.org for a free, online American Red Cross program that helps organizations evaluate and improve their preparedness.
  2. Create emergency plans for your organization – and share them with employees.
  3. Hold regular evacuation, fire and earthquake drills.
  4. If possible, have emergency kits onsite for  all employees.
  5. Make sure employees know where they should go after an evacuation/workplace interruption (a nearby park or parking lot).
  6. Provide Red Cross first aid and CPR training to employees, as it is likely that first responders will be delayed following a major disaster event.

As important as your business is, it is equally important that your employees protect their families by being prepared at home.  Research shows that only about 1 in 10 Americans are prepared for a disaster.  Here are a few simple steps to get you on the road to preparedness:

  • Get a kit: Assemble emergency kits for each of your family members.  Along with food, water and first aid supplies, include items such as vital prescription medications, important papers, pet supplies, contact lists and cash.
  • Make a plan. Talk with your family about potential disasters and create a plan for staying safe and remaining connected.
  • Identify at least two locations family members might meet up after a disaster (one within your neighborhood and one outside it).
  • Register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website following a disaster to list yourself as “safe and well” or to search for information about friends and loved ones.
  • Be informed: Be aware of the types of disaster situations that might occur in your area, and make specific plans for dealing with them. Download the official American Red Cross First Aid mobile application for expert advice.

For detailed information on home, school and workplace preparedness, you can visit www.redcross.org.

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