Top 10 steps to prepare your business for evacuation

If you do not have an evacuation plan, here are 10 things to consider

Picture of wildfire.

In a potential emergency situation, being informed and prepared can help to minimize stress. — Photo courtesy Gov't of B.C.

If you are on evacuation alert or think you will be put on evacuation alert, there are some important steps you will want to consider. If you have an evacuation plan, review the plan and start the implementation process. If you do not have an evacuation plan, here are 10 things to consider:

1. Protect your information - back up electronic files using a USB stick, emailing them to yourself, backing up to an online ‘cloud’ and grabbing your laptop, external hard drive, or computer tower if needed.

2. Pack insurance and registration information for all commercial vehicles in your evacuation kit. For more information to go: http://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2017-Jul10.aspx

3. Preparing for an Insurance Claim - take pictures and/or a video of your business pointing out key equipment. Don’t forget to take a copy of your insurance documents with you.

4. Remove any uncertainty as to what staff should do in an emergency. Assign tasks to help staff respond as quickly as possible. Make sure you have their contact information and out of area contacts.

5. Turn off utilities - electrical, gas and water, and remove any fire hazards that may be near the building.

6. Empty cash from your cash register and seal in an envelope. Sign the envelope, the cash amount and the date across the seam. If you go to use any of this cash in your evacuation efforts, be sure to track how much of it you spend and if it is a business related expense.

7. Make sure you have a list of links to emergency information. A list is provided at the end of this document.

8. Create a list of emergency phone numbers and key contacts, be sure you have access to this list if you are evacuated.

9. If there is an environmental threat 50 km or further from your place of business, you may still be eligible to register for business interruption insurance. In the case of wildfires, most insurance companies require that the nearest fire be no closer than 25 – 50km from your place of business.

10. Contact suppliers about a potential delivery disruption (if applicable) and/or contact customers about a potential disruption in services (if applicable).

For additional information click here.

Editor’s Note: Given the current situation in our forests and communities, the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) has developed a list of important steps to prepare businesses for evacuation.  This is being provided through our Economic Disaster Recovery Program that we have activated as a result of the current fire situation.

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