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Disaster Preparation – Risk Management for Facilities Management

By their very nature, disasters are unforeseen and inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take proactively take action to avoid or minimize the impact they may cause.  Countless businesses succumb to catastrophic failures each year, losing valuable operating time, assets, and customer support in the process. Minimizing the effects of a flood or power outage can mean the difference between a temporary hiccup in the day and closing the doors for good. There are three simple initiatives you can follow to avoid and diminish the damages incurred due to emergency.

Identify Risks and Critical Functions

A thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the most important utilities allows for efficient proactive maintenance, thereby reducing overall risk.  The scenarios with the highest likelihood should be evaluated with the most care.

Action Item: Staff should be cognizant of the upkeep and structure of facility utilities, emphasizing perpetual vigilance.

Evaluate Options

Depending on need and budget, the company can install countermeasures or backup systems to ward against disasters.  Again, the largest risks should be paired with the largest allocation of time and resources to help mitigate the potential consequences.

Action Item:  Install backup systems and countermeasures.

Make a Plan

Placing the onus for risk identification on the facilities maintenance staff puts them in a better position to know what to do in case an emergency does arise.  Plan and practice the measures put in place and ensure that the plan is second nature.

Action Item: A formal plan-of-action can be made out of the two former initiatives; the proactive leads to proper reactive protocol.

While there is no way to safeguard against every catastrophe the world could throw at your facility, the exercise of careful planning and preparation is simply and exercise in risk management to help ensure the longevity of your facility and the safety of your employees, clients and tenants.

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