The State of Preparedness

By Deana Molinari PhD

Much of the business day depends on preparedness. Is there enough inventory? Are there sufficient employees? How much space is required? How well does the speech meet the need? Are the bills paid? And the list unfolds.

The quality of business practice depends on the emotional state of preparedness workers feel during expected and unexpected conditions. A nurse cannot provide pills on time if the medication is not in stock. Contracts are not signed if the boss is unavailable to approve the document’s clauses. When the situation is unexpected, panic is often the first emotion felt by workers.

Natural disasters place people in situations for which they feel unprepared. During 2017, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and ice storms delivered a powerful emotional punch in the United States. What can a business do to reduce the pain, protect the people and preserve the location? A lot.

Much has been written on what families need to do to protect themselves during emergencies. This is because families must provide their own plans and preparations during emergencies. Community services are not to be relied upon. Services can be nonexistent. Although every community plans its emergency preparedness strategies, the final document discusses what it can do to serve the public in a cut-back condition. What does your business do to preserve its existence? How does it help its workers?

Research indicates that people feel better when they know what to expect, so writing plans and policies helps people adapt to the altered circumstances. Every business is required to yearly review their preparedness plan and host drills to see how well the personnel perform under dangerous conditions. When was the last time you signaled a drill?

FEMA states regular drills of a business continuity plan is essential. “Ready Business” will assist shops in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.” Since many businesses do not survive a natural disaster, the government provides many resources to help leaders prepare for times when insurance is not enough to preserve a profit.

A library of resource items can be found on webpage: 

Each spring and fall changes to the national flood insurance policy are made. The policy is available through certain private insurance companies and is only available to the counties that are designated flood areas.

Another government support is called Disaster Assistance. Resources for special needs populations are provided on private websites and are not supported by the government.

  • Operation Emergency Prepare is designed for individuals, organizations and community groups to prepare for natural disasters.

  • FEMA provides an online training for people wanting to help their communities prepare for unexpected events:

Steps to Preparedness is a site that enables communities to prepare for individual needs during a disaster. For instance, Help the Community Copy Important Documents is a service provided to help families prepare important documents like health, house, financial, and insurance records. Your business can promote itself while serving others with one afternoon of service.

  • Purpose: Ensure family documents are accessible, secure, and will not be lost during a natural disaster.
  • A checklist for the organization providing the service
  • A central meeting location
  • Reams of copy paper (ask for donations)
  • Gallon-sized zipper bags to act as weather proof tote bags
  • A check-in desk
  • Volunteers to ensure lines move forward

Each person should have an Emergency Supply Kit made from available items at home. provides lots of resources for emergency supplies needed for various conditions. Each one requires families and businesses to know the risks and prepare to reduce them before the unexpected situation occurs.

Social Media can help or hinder recovery from a disaster. The government provides several official sites on Facebook:

Twitter: FEMA provides regional information that warns travelers and families of potential dangers. The sites urge families to remain in contact one with another, especially during unexpected situations.


The government supports family discussions by providing dinner recipes and documents to support discussions.

When emergencies strike, panic is a common reaction. Usually the uncontrollable feelings happen because the time for preparation has ceased and people are unsure about several things. Who is in charge? What should I do? How can I help? What will happen next?

The acts of preparing for the unexpected can limit the discomfort while people adapt to the new conditions. The more one prepares, the less disturbing the natural disaster feels. People know what to expect and can carry out their responsibilities with less anxiety. The state of preparedness may not feel happy but also will not be paralyzed by fear.

Add your experiences and internet references to the comments.