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When considering local hazard vulnerability, you want to identify the most common emergencies that occur in the area under your jurisdiction. Then, consider the history: what are the most recent or historical impacts on your area? What are the possible hazards that are present in the worst-case scenario? Conducting this hazard vulnerability assessment (HVA) is crucial, especially in the case of an emergency.

There is always going to be something you’re not going to plan for, but if you account for the majority of the possibilities, your thought process will extend to the unexpected. When you are pinpointing susceptible points in your business that could be home to hazards, you want to ask yourself some questions: Do you have a low area that might flood? Are there railroad tracks nearby? What happens if a rail car comes through leaking liquid or chemicals? Or, trains can even derail. Power lines going across your building or even the parking lot, which you may have thought was a safe evacuation area, must be considered. Big trees are also at risk of falling down, especially in the case of heavy rain where the soil is loosened.

Moreover, consider what to expect from the destruction of services. What’s going to happen if you lose power for one day, three days, or even five days in a week? Are your programs and databases backed up? Do you have battery backups? When was the last time you performed a full IT restoration test to make sure the systems are working? You should be continually asking yourself these questions, especially in the technological age. Even a small setback can cause considerable problems for your business.

Of course, hazard vulnerability varies on location, climate, and industry, but it is a crucial component of preparedness no matter what kind of business you manage. BERT can assist you and your business with structuring a specific plan to establish and strengthen your emergency preparedness. Contact us today!

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