This site is designed to provide information to Businesses and Corporations doing business in Winnebago County. This information is designed to provide guidance to the business community of Winnebago County in how to prevent, educate, respond and recover from a public health emergency.
Should a public health emergency threaten Winnebago County, incident-specific information will be posted on this site, which will provide direction to the business community in Winnebago County.
WHAT CAN BUSINESSES DO IN A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY?
All businesses, no matter what size, should have an emergency plan in place to deal with emergencies of all types. For smaller businesses, this plan could be as simple as completing a template that describes steps to take in response to certain emergencies. For larger businesses, the plan can be a more elaborate and detailed plan, that includes a Business Continuity Plan (also known as a Continuity of Operations Plan, or CoOP) that includes response actions as well as lists of alternate suppliers, methods for telecommuting etc. All plans have one thing in common; they are all designed to guide companies through the initial stages of an emergency and to provide guidance for recovery.
The first step in creating an emergency plan, is to conduct a Vulnerability and Hazards Assessment. There are many ways to conduct this, but basically this will tell you what hazards you are realistically facing (for example, in Rockford you are not likely to face a hurricane, but you are likely to be affected by a blizzard) AND what the company vulnerabilities are (for example, the company does not own a second location that would allow for the moving of operations following a fire, or there are not enough employees to adequately prepare a response team etc.). The Federal Emergency Management Agency has some templates that businesses can download and use to develop such plans and assesments.
REMEMBER: AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN IS NOT
A REAL PLAN IF IT ISN'T TESTED AND UPDATED REGULARLY!
Links that will direct inquirers to information-specific websites:
http://www.fema.gov/ (Main FEMA website)
http://www.fema.gov/privatesector/index.shtm (FEMA website for the private sector - - information on preparedness, planning and recovery from all types of emergencies)