It’s always better to be prepared before times get tough. A little forethought on your part (and from the SmallBusiness.com WIKI) can help mitigate or even avert disaster, if one arises. Here are some things you should keep on hand in case of crisis.
(Image: flickr via djwaldow)
We can’t over-stress how important it is to keep water on hand—lots of water. Aim for at least a gallon per employee per day, but keep as much as you can on hand.
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Stock at least three day’s worth of nonperishable food somewhere in your office. Concentrate on things that don’t require mixing, cooking or heating to be eaten. Be sure to include a manual can opener—chances are most nonperishables require one to open.
3. Battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
Your computer, TV and other large gadgets will be worthless if the electricity goes out. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries. Or consider a solar-powered or crank-powered emergency radio, some of which also include a flashlight and even cell phone charging plug.
4. Flashlight (and extra batteries)
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Even better than a battery-operated flashlight are those you shake or crank to operate. It’s a guarantee that they’ll never run out of power when you most need it.
5. First Aid Kit
Your business should have one in any case for mundane accidents, but having some first aid basics on hand can keep a small emergency from getting bigger. The American Red Cross offers guidelines on what to include. Be sure to check the kit regularly to make sure it’s fully stocked and all medications are fresh.
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No, not that kind of whistle. A whistle to signal for help can be a lifesaver in numerous emergencies, so be sure to keep one handy.
7. Cleansing wipes, hand sanitizer, garbage bags, toilet paper, paper towels, plastic gloves and bag ties
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Personal sanitation and hygiene can become a crisis if you’re unprepared. Having the proper supplies on hand will avoid adding to your difficulties and also help morale. And when you aren’t using it, they’ll provide hours of entertainment (like this photo).
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If you have an office toolkit, make sure you know where it is and that it’s stocked with basics like an adjustable wrench, hammer, pliers, screwdriver and fasteners. From turning off gas or water lines to making small repairs or opening cans of food because you forgot a can opener, tools are incredibly handy. It’s also a good idea to keep a couple pairs of work gloves on hand.
9. Dust/Filter Masks
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You can find these in all hardware stores, and though—we know—they look a little nerdy, you’ll be glad to have them on hand in case there’s a lot of dust or smoke in the air. Opt for the heavier-duty kind such as drywall workers use—they’ll filter out more gunk and stand up to hours of use.
10. Plastic Sheeting and Duct tape
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These can be used to seal off a room, which can be essential for keeping heat in and keeping out smoke of harmful chemical gases. Plus, is there anything duct tape can’t be used for?