This week, FEMA and NOAA are taking part in National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Today, Preparis is focusing on the threat of a drought. The ongoing drought plaguing Midwest and Southern states since 2010 has cost the economy more than $35 billion plus impacted the gross-domestic product by even more. Another cause for concern is when dry conditions spark wildfires. The lack of precipitation can quickly create hazardous dry conditions which could lead to wildfires causing deadly destruction. In 2012, the Colorado wildfire caused 32,000 people to be evacuated and destroyed hundreds of buildings.Climatologists report the drought plaguing more than 50% of the U.S. will persist in the Great Plains and West through the spring and spread over more of California, Texas and Florida.

Is your business located in one of the areas impacted by drought and at risk for wildfire? Consider these emergency preparedness plans to ensure your entire organizations stays safe.

Having a business continuity in place months, not days, beforehand is essential to ensuring your employees, revenue and brand are protected before a disaster hits. As with all threats, having an actionable BC plan and trained teams will help mitigate the impact of a wildfire on your building and business. Beyond your overall BC plan, consider these emergency preparedness measures to make sure your business and employees stay safe.

Prepare for a wildfire in your area
“¢ Monitor local drought history in your region
“¢ Have a plan in place for evacuating each floor of your office. If you don’t have one for your business, Preparis can help
“¢ Post emergency contact information where everyone can see it.

If a wildfire is approaching:
“¢ Listen to local news and emergency responders for evacuation information. If ordered to evacuate, do so immediately.
“¢ Close all interior doors and shut off any sources of gas.
“¢ Fill any buckets, tubs, or water containing vessels before evacuating, and leave all lights
on when you leave.

In the event of an evacuation:
“¢ Drive slowly with your lights on. Keep windows up and close all air vents.
“¢ Do not enter areas heavily filled with smoke.
“¢ Stay low to the ground, plus cover your mouth and nose to help minimize smoke inhalation.

After the fire:
“¢ Do not re-enter an area until cleared by the fire department or local emergency responders.
“¢ Keep an eye out for signs of fire: burning embers, smoldering ash, or smoke.
“¢ Notify emergency responders of any of these signs and seek medical attention if exposed
to smoke or fumes.

For those businesses out there with questions, e-mail us at info@preparis.com or give us a call at 404.662.2950. Be sure to follow Preparis on Facebook and Twitter to learn more on how your business should plan to survive severe weather. If you missed our previous posts for National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, check out our featured content on Winter Storms, Tornadoes, and Hurricanes. #ImAForce.

Marketing Manager