According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, 25 percent of businesses that close their doors during a disaster never reopen. When our local businesses suffer, we as a community suffer. In an era where many businesses are deemed “too big to fail,” allowing a disaster to permanently close even the smallest businesses can have a detrimental impact on you, your employees, and your community as a whole.
Resiliency planning is becoming a vital part of many companies, who often follow the lead of the public sector in determining its significance. Many communities around the country are beginning to take resiliency planning seriously. Tulsa, Okla. has long been considered one of the nation’s leading cities for breaking new ground when it comes to disaster preparedness and sustainability.
On December 3 of this year, Tulsa was selected to join Paris, Barcelona, Athens, and other major world cities in becoming a part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program. This significant program was created to fund cities around the globe to establish a new position in city government for a resiliency officer who would be charged with leading the city’s continuity of government efforts in the face of a natural or man-made disaster.
Tulsa has a long history of working toward creating a more resilient and sustainable community. Beginning in the 1970’s when Tulsans for a Better Community came together to take on the city’s massive and deadly flooding problems, resulting in its world-renowned, benchmark stormwater management program, Tulsa citizens have worked with the City of Tulsa in a mutually beneficial public/private partnership to make Tulsa safer. The city’s designation as a Project Impact community in 1997 helped it expand its planning to a multiple-hazards perspective, educating the public about how to most effectively mitigate against flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, winter storms, and man-made disasters. As a Citizen Corps community, and in partnership with Tulsa Partners, Inc., Tulsa created one of the state’s largest Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). The Disaster Resistant Business Council, a program of Tulsa Partners, Inc., is not only committed to educating Tulsa’s business community about staying in business throughout a disaster, but is considered a resource for other communities as well.
In taking its place in the 100 Resilient Cities program, Tulsa reaffirms its commitment to a continuity of government, the safety of its citizens, and the economic health of its community.
In planning for your company’s survival in all conditions, consider the following:
• Essential functions and personnel—critical activities that must be performed, even during a time a crisis
• Critical resources that support those essential functions—this includes human capital, equipment, and utilities.
• Establishing Orders of Succession—the delegation of authority and assumption of senior executive positions or offices during an emergency, in the event that the current office-holders are unable to execute their legal duties due to absence or incapacitation.
• Establishing communications that provide the capability to perform essential functions under all conditions
• Designation of alternate working facilities and locations
• Identification and accessibility of all vital records
• Development of exercises and drills that will regularly test the plan