Emergency preparedness is a broad concern for business travelers seeking to ready themselves in today’s ever-changing risk landscape. Whether stemming from crime or natural disasters, the cost of business interruption and disaster recovery can, depending on the size of a company, have a significant long-term impact on everything from productivity to profit. As a leader in employee travel security consulting, let us take a moment to review what companies can do to better the emergency preparedness of their employees.
What emergencies can companies anticipate in their efforts to adequately prepare? There are a number of factors that should be considered when evaluating levels of preparedness. To adequately plan, companies with facilities at multiple locations should avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach. One facility might be located in a country or region where natural disasters and severe weather are more likely to occur, while another facility’s location might have more concerns related to terrorism or other crimes.
Heightened preparedness starts with an honest evaluation of risks, then a prioritized approach that is based on potential impact. Natural disasters, i.e. flooding or hurricanes may impact production and transportation as well as facilities themselves. When planning for those types of emergencies, what kind of business continuity planning is in place? Can production be shifted to other facilities, and if so, are they prepared to procure additional materials or labor? Is there a clear communication plan in place to facilitate any necessary transfer of work?
Anticipating when an act of terrorism or civil unrest might occur is difficult at best, but those kinds of events might need to considered when evaluating some facilities’ levels of emergency preparedness. Even when physical and supply chain security are high, a single serious event can impact business continuity.
Business Travel Security Must Include Employee Safety
While addressing business continuity concerns, emergency preparedness planning should also include employee safety. Is there some type of plan, however basic, in place to assist business travelers or groups attending meetings or events?
Because emergency preparedness is such a multi-faceted topic, companies wishing to adequately plan should take a highly tailored approach. At a minimum they should consider the highest priority concerns for each business location. Looking past an initial crisis, they should seek ways to plan for concerns related to international travel security, supply chain security, labor, transportation and logistics as part of ongoing business continuity planning. Because the risk landscape continues to evolve, it’s crucial for businesses to conduct periodic evaluations of their level of preparedness and response.
If you are a corporate HR manager, executive, or anyone else involved in working on your international business travel security plans, reach out to our experts for a consultation. We can conduct an emergency preparedness audit from top to bottom and give you advice on how to improve your employee travel security.