If motivating individuals to become prepared for disasters is difficult an even tougher challenge is trying to get small to medium sized businesses to pay attention to the issue. There is also a connection between business preparedness and individual/family disaster preparedness. If employees are not prepared at home, they will not be coming to work when disaster strikes. Their attention will be consumed by what is happening on the home front. Here are some statistics to make you "sit up and think" about your own level of preparedness:
According to Red Cross preparedness research findings:
- 15-40% of businesses fail following a natural or manmade disaster.
- 94% of small business owners believe a disaster could seriously disrupt their business within the next two years.
- 51% of Americans have experienced at least one emergency situation where they lost utilities for at least three days, had to evacuate and could not return home, could not communicate with family members or had to provide first aid to others.
- Only 2 in 10 Americans feel prepared for a catastrophic event.
- Close to 60% of Americans are wholly unprepared for a disaster of any kind.
- 54% of Americans don’t prepare because they believe a disaster will not affect them.
- Only 1 in 10 American households has taken the appropriate preparedness steps: a family emergency plan, an emergency supply kit, and training in First Aid and CPR/AED.
- 82% of Americans agree, “If someone could make it easy for me to be prepared, I’d do it.”
When you look at the frequency and severity of disasters in just the last decade you can see that the risks if not getting worse are certainly significant. The American Red Cross Ready Rating Program is a tool that just might help motivate you to assess your current vulnerabilities and level preparedness.
The program is described as, "The American Red Cross Ready Rating program is a free, self-guided program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members complete a 123-point self assessment of their level of preparedness, gain access to tips and best practices, and commit to improving their score each year to maintain membership. The 123 Assessment has been aligned with the federal government's private sector preparedness standards (PS-Prep)."
I encourage you to check it out and challenge you to become better prepared for the disaster that is sure to come.