Mar 17, 2020

Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Small Businesses

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has upended life for most Americans, which has a corresponding impact on the businesses they work for and interact with. So how do you prepare for a pandemic like this? And how do you prepare for future emergencies that we can’t even anticipate?

Robust resources are available to help your small business with emergency preparedness. Start with the Small Business Administration’s excellent emergency preparedness portal. You should also check out the resources offered by SCORE, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Putting together a comprehensive plan empowers your business to continue operations during emergencies such as COVID-19, as well as other natural and human-caused disasters. Here’s a basic checklist to help you begin your preparations:

The Potential Impact 

Think about how an emergency could affect your business.

Navigating the Emergency

Consider how you can safeguard your employees and business.

Continuing Business Operations 

Evaluate how you will keep things running during the emergency.

Be sure to use the robust resources provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Chamber of Commerce to bolster the basic steps outlined in this checklist. Once you’ve gathered all the information, you’ll be able to tailor a plan just for your business.

One of the most important aspects of any successful plan is having everyone on the same page. Talk to your employees before you make any big decisions. Gather their feedback and implement it wherever possible. You’ll often be surprised by the excellent ideas that arise through this type of collaboration.

After finalizing your plan, make sure it’s communicated clearly and consistently with your people. Hopefully, your plan will rarely need to be put into action. But having it at the ready is an essential part of being a responsible business owner. Your employees will know you value their health and safety and that you are doing everything possible to also protect their livelihood in the event of an emergency.


Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Small Businesses

About the author

Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on and Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.


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