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Disaster Planning

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2016

Hello RFMA members,

It's early June and officially the hurricane season has started. It began June 1st and ends on November 30th. Are your coastal restaurants prepared? What about the other natural disasters like floods, fires, tornado's, and power outages. Is your Disaster Plan ready and up to date? Has it been reviewed and practiced? Has a plan been developed? Unfortunately, disasters will happen in your stores and the planning stage is the most important part for protecting the employees, customers, and company assets. The plan needs to be in place to minimize the decision time required before, during, and after the event. Obviously, this blog cannot cover all the requirements for proper planning but can provide a few items to consider for your plan. A comprehensive plan will cover the four areas:

- How to prepare

- Minimizing the effects

- Response

- Recovery

Preparing positions your facilities to handle the event by having protection supplies like shutters, plywood, generators, and contractors lined up ready to act. Flash lights, drinking water, first aid kits, 2-way radios, extra cellphone batteries, and spare cash also will come in handy. All great plans will need the input of several internal departments like Operations, Legal, Food Safety, Facilities, etc. The Response and Recovery sections should include who makes on the ground decisions as supplies should already be in place. Prior discussions with local public food safety officials should also be considered as this is a huge potential liability. Obviously the goal is to reopen ASAP as along as the food, facilities, employees and customers are safe.

The plan needs to be practiced periodically to familiarize everyone what is exactly is expected. It can then be revised accordingly. It remains a "living, breathing, document". Also ensure your company has the proper insurance protection as some polices do not include flood or earthquake damage.

There is a large amount of Disaster Management resources available on our website in the Resource Library in the Facilities Toolkit section and there is a Disaster Management Online Learning Module in our CRFP Prep Course. Additionally, check out some of our past Disaster Management articles in Facilitator listed below. Two additional articles will be featured in our upcoming  June/July Facilitator magazine.

Click here to view our Facilitator article: Repairs & Maintenance: Forming a Crisis Management Plan
By: Bill Schaphorst with JC Gonzalez and MaryAnn Velez contributing

Click here to view our Facilitator article: Facility Manager Project Profile: Disaster Preparedness Planning
By: Charlie Hartmann

Dover and out.

Tags:  disaster planning  floods  generators  hurricanes 

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