Prepare Organizations

Natural and human-made disasters will always be a part of life. Our organizations need to prepare so they can minimize damage and bounce back quickly.

Know The Risks


Building inspector wearing hard hat and carrying paper and pen is kneeling on one knee and looking at a pipe.



Identify Risks

Just like individuals, organizations need to understand their risks in order to make good plans. All organizations face risks from cyber attacks and acts of terror. In addition, the Pacific Northwest is expecting a major earthquake, and there are other natural hazards that are likely in this area. Understand the risks your organization faces so you can plan accordingly. Complete a Preparedness Checklist to identify your organization's weak spots.

Reduce Risks

When we reduce the risks, we create safer communities. We reduce loss of life and property damage, minimize financial impacts, and ensure more rapid recovery. Do a "hazard hunt" in your building and secure your space to prepare for earthquakes. Consider purchasing business interruption insurance, earthquake insurance, and flood insurance.

Make Plans


Three people sit at a table in an office and discuss plans. One man has his back to us and appears to be talking. The man and woman across from him are listening and smiling slightly.
Photo credit: Mercy Corps Northwest



Create a Plan

Make a plan for your employees, computers and data, facilities, and inventory. Start with a simple plan, and then develop it over time. To get started, use these 7 Steps to a Disaster Resilient Workplace and check out the Red Cross's Ready Rating Program.

Share Your Plan

Who needs to know the disaster plan? Talk with employees, suppliers, customers, accountants, attorneys, and anyone else who needs to know.

Create Backups

You may not have access to internet or phones. Have paper copies of critical information, such as employee contact information, insurance information, your emergency plan, and contact information for critical clients, suppliers, or service companies.

Prepare People


People sit in chairs looking at the front of the room and listening to a presentation.
Photo credit: Mercy Corps Northwest


Organizations Can't Run Without People

Your organization depends on its employees, customers, clients, partners, parishioners, students, etc. But those people won't be there to support your organization if they aren't prepared personally. Make personal preparedness a value of your organization, and make that value known internally and externally.

Ways to Prepare Customers and Staff

  • Survey everyone to gauge their level of preparedness.
  • Offer programs and events that promote individual preparedness.
  • Participate in the Great ShakeOut every October 17th.
  • Incorporate preparedness messages into staff meetings and newsletters on an ongoing basis.
  • Provide emergency preparedness supplies or equipment instead of other items for gifts, bonuses, or prizes. The Red Cross and other suppliers offer many options.
  • Encourage managers and other leaders to set a good example. They should be prepared at home, have an emergency plan, and have a workplace emergency kit.
  • Cross-train employees and volunteers on critical business functions.
  • Make sure employees know your organization's disaster plan, "business continuity," or "continuity of operations" plan.

Organization-Specific Resources


Woman giving presentation in front of room full of people. Screen behind her says "Why prepare for an earthquake?"
Photo credit: Laura Hall, Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization


Children and adults walk through the rain to in a school parking lot. They are doing an earthquake drill. There are buses in the background and a fence in the foreground.
Photo credit: Columbia County Emergency Management

Disaster-Specific Resources

Post-Disaster Resources


Two women in blue shirts sit across the table from people who are applying for post-disaster assistance. The sign behind them says "Small Business Association Disaster Assistance."



Financial Guidance

Emotional Support