Preparing a Business for Disasters and Emergencies
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A disaster can strike at any moment, leaving some businesses helpless, but the American Red Cross of Western Colorado wants to make sure you're better prepared for what can happen.
You wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at it now, but just three months ago Schlotzsky's Deli suffered from a fire that put the popular restaurant temporarily out of business.
"It's been really tough; it's been a long three months for us," said Rachel Kolb, owner of Schlotzsky's Deli.
They had to replace all of their insulation and ceiling tile, and they also had to clean everything from top to bottom.
“No one is ever really prepared for something like this; it just happens and you have to go forward,” said Kolb.
However, the American Red Cross is hoping to educate businesses across the Grand Valley on how to be better equipped for any possible disaster.
“It’s really important for businesses to be prepared for disasters,” said Eric Myers, executive director of the American Red Cross of Western Colorado. “Over 40 percent of businesses fail after a large disaster.”
American Red Cross officials say it's vital for businesses to train their employees on CPR and first aid, have an operational plan in place and an alternate location to work out of just in case.
“If businesses do shut down there is a chance they have to find new customers because they may have gone to other places,” said Myers.
Kolb is hoping that won't be a problem when she reopens her doors on Friday.
“Having the mindset that we are going to go ahead and reopen and make a plan immediately following the catastrophe has helped,” said Kolb. “We had to have a plan going forward, how we were going to accomplish this.”
In order educate businesses about the steps they can take to be better prepared for disasters, the American Red Cross will host a free business preparedness conference on Wednesday from 2:30-5 p.m.
It will be held at the Grand Vista Hotel, located at 2790 Crossroads Blvd.
The organization also offers a free course through the "Ready Rating Program" for businesses.
For more information call 242-4851 or visit redcross.org.