Draper City helps businesses be ready for emergency
Logan Sisam from Be Ready Utah presents on earthquake preparedness during a special presentation provided by the city. The Great Utah ShakeOut will take place on April 21. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
While residents may be prepared for an emergency when it comes to their homes, Draper City hopes to help business owners prepare as well. During a special presentation on Feb. 22, representatives from city, state and private entities taught business owners how to start thinking about emergency preparedness for their businesses.
According to Scott Chatwin, the emergency services coordinator for Draper City, the goal of the Ready Your Business presentation was to make sure businesses get the tools they need so they can stay in business and come back after a disaster.
“Forty percent of them never come back. If we can reach out and give them tools and help them prepare and get the plans written and test their stuff, more will come back,” Chatwin said. “That’s going to make more people go back to work, which is more money coming back into the city, schools start operating, it will get the community growing and going after a disaster.”
One presenter for Ready Your Business was Logan Sisam, the Be Ready Utah business manager with the Utah Division of Emergency Management. He began his presentation by plugging the Great Utah ShakeOut on April 21. The annual event’s goal is to educate the public about earthquake safety.
“Everyone who participates gets a chance to drop, cover and hold on. Some businesses do a full-on evacuation from the building,” Sisam said. “Others try to exercise ways during that day they can telecommute. There’s a variety of ways you can participate in it.”
Sisam also said business owners need to make sure their homes and families are prepared for an emergency before tackling emergency preparedness at work.
“If you or your family aren’t prepared, how hard is it going to be to keep the business running or keep up with those responsibilities? It’s going to be really hard,” Sisam said. “My first message is to ensure that you as individuals are ready. We’re able to support that through Be Ready Utah.”
Sisam had attendees think about what types of training their employees have gone through and if they believed they were ready for an emergency.
“Have any of your businesses gone through an active shooter training? Is that something that is a concern? Is it something that is increasing across the country? But at the same time, we think it won’t happen to us,” Sisam said. “When you think about earthquakes, what’s something you can do to get your employees ready? What are some of the things you want to start to exercise? Where’s a safe place?”
Sisam also recommended business owners prepare an emergency plan for their businesses. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers a sample emergency plan at ready.gov. In the sample emergency plan are areas to list various contacts of the business, which staff are in charge of which aspect of the business and what their action plan is in case of a disaster, evacuation plans and business continuity disaster plans.
For more information about emergency preparedness in Draper, visit http://www.draper.ut.us/451/Emergency-Preparedness.