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Planning for emergencies essential

Updated March 2, 2022 - 3:50 pm

The Boy Scout motto to “Be Prepared” has been ringing in my head for quite a while now. I have found that when something stays as top-of-mind, it means I probably need to take action on it. In this case, it has been in regard to the chamber’s daily operations as a business.

We have all been impacted in some way by many turn of events over the last three to five years. From the opening of Interstate 11, a pandemic and the recent announcements regarding potential cyberattacks, we are ever reminded that we should be prepared for uncertainty and troubled times.

Have we done all we could and should do to protect our homes and families, our businesses and employees?

I love to follow Howard Hughes’ admonition to “surround yourself with people smarter than you” and in this case, found amazing and plentiful resources, written by educated and experienced leaders, online to assist me in accessing the chamber’s emergency preparedness plan. One that was specific to our organization was titled “Open for Business: A Disaster Planning Toolkit for the Small to Mid-Sized Business Owner.” (Download is available on the chamber’s website, www.bouldercitychamber.com.)

This is an easy guide to help business owners select what is most needed for their business type and size. There isn’t a one-plan-fits-all scenario, but this tool seems to allow you to mold the concepts into what works best for your business.

When working on your family’s plan, I found excellent tools on the Red Cross website (redcross.org) as well as Ready.gov. The city of Boulder City also has downloads for a preparedness shopping list, emergency management plans and answers to other emergency operations plans. Those can be found at bcnv.org and use the search bar for “emergency preparedness.”

I admit that creating and then updating an emergency plan is one of the items that falls to the bottom of my priority list. However, I look to those businesses and organizations in California that were in a city that was completely destroyed by fire. Having their documents and financial information stored in a location other than just the company’s office computer, were far better off than those that had not thought a natural disaster would impact them.

We can consider those businesses that have trained their employees on what to do if they have a threatening person in their lobby, store or restaurant. If I am a patron at that store as well, I sure want those employees to know how to respond in a way that protects them and me.

And I know many of us have already experienced to some degree turning on your computer one morning to have some scary ransomware looming on the screen, true torture if you haven’t planned ahead and installed the necessary protections.

Time to get working on my “inner Scout” and start being more prepared by planning ahead for my family and in business. I am absolutely willing to help you with finding the right resources and tools you will need to begin your planning or update your current plans.

Jill-Rowland Lagan, CEO of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, is the third of four generations in Boulder City. She loves cooking, jet skiing and hanging out with her family. Her personal motto is “A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.”

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