If you are a new business owner in an area of the United States that is prone to earthquakes, you will want to do whatever necessary to prepare your building, your employees, and yourself to keep safe should one occur. There are several steps you can take in advance to better the chances of less damage and injury. Here are some steps to take when you start your business so you are not unprepared should an earthquake happen during operating hours.
Have The Structure Checked
Start your disaster preparation by walking through your entire building to evaluate it for risky areas. This includes filing cabinets that are not bolted to the floor, shelving units that are not secure, and heavy items that are above eye-level. Make the necessary changes to these risks to help keep your employees safe.
Call a civil engineering service like Tbird Design Services Corporation to take a look at the structural integrity of your building to see if there are areas that need changing. The foundation should be free of any cracking and bricks should all be intact within the walls. Beams and poles that need reinforcement will require a contractor to come in to make improvements to your building. If you do not own the building, but are renting, contact your landlord or leasing agent to handle the expense of these needed improvements.
Secure Your Internal Structure
The backbone of your business may be the data files you have available to carry out the tasks of normal every day operation. Make sure you have a hard copy of computer programs you use to carry out the jobs within your business. Copy all data files to a cloud service in addition to a hard drive. Keep all hard copies of this information as well as copies of important documents in a location off-site, preferably in an area away from an earthquake zone. Some businesses will ship important documentation to another state for safekeeping.
Prepare Your Employees
To prepare for the chance of an earthquake, make sure each employee in your business has had training in first aid so they can attend to anyone who is in need of help should an earthquake occur. Hold safety training courses to teach the employees how to react if an earthquake happens.
Make sure areas under desks are kept clear of items so they can be used as a makeshift shelter should the ground begin to shake. Have several pairs of heavy-duty gloves available within your building for employees to use should items need to be moved after an earthquake occurs.