Business owners prepare for disaster


Millions of people around the country are getting ready, for a disaster. They’re taking part in what’s been dubbed America’s Prepare-athon.

It’s a campaign happening around the nation, and it’s being done to make sure communities are ready for anything, and folks in are area are participating.

“There are just some little things that we can do to make it safer for our employees in terms of emergency notification, letting others know in the event of a crisis.”

Keri Rojas is the manager of Cornerstone Cottage in Hampton. She wants to learn what she can do to be prepared for anything from a fire to a robbery at her store.

“I think that, you know if you have a plan in a crisis it makes it easier on everyone because you’ve already laid out what needs to be done when you’re not under the stress and emotion of the emergency,” she explains.

That’s why she’s attending a class held by Franklin County Emergency Management.

The class covers a variety of possible “disasters” and how business owners can be prepared. It’s done to keep their employees and customers safe should say a tornado strike.

One year ago this June, a series of tornadoes hit the north Iowa area including in Hampton.

Emergency Management Coordinator Thomas Craighton says having a plan for shelter needs to be a main concern for these business owners.

“What do I do with my employees, and what do I do with my customers, most places it’s a question of where do I take shelter so having that ready to go and being able to tell the customer and your employees this is where we’re going for shelter and we will survive this,” says Craighton.

Besides keeping everyone in the store safe, having a set plan in place can help to get things back to normal after a disaster.

Craighton says about 40% of small businesses go out of business once they close down during a disaster.

“Partly because they’re not fully prepared for disaster so being prepared #1. It might be that they don’t have a plan of how do I get back.”

And while chances are these folks will never have to use their emergency plans, they can rest assured knowing they’re being proactive in looking out for their businesses.

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