August 28, 2017 7:27 pm
Updated: August 28, 2017 7:38 pm

Survey asks Calgary businesses how prepared they are for an emergency

Flooding in Calgary

Global News/Tim Lee

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) launched a survey Monday on the importance of emergency preparedness and business continuity.

The Chamber and CEMA are using the awareness and publicity around Hurricane Harvey and  the flooding in Texas to conduct the survey over the next couple of weeks on how ready Calgary businesses are to handle an emergency.

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READ MORE: Alberta community still busy rebuilding since 2013 flood

During the 2013 floods in Alberta, CEMA reported 180,000 people could not go to work. CEMA chief Tom Sampson hopes that in developing a plan, businesses can come up with ways of dealing with the risks that make them vulnerable.

“We’re interested in understanding, in conjunction with the Calgary Chamber, exactly how we can help businesses when disaster strikes; are there things we can do that we haven’t done? So, rather than have a lessons learned report, we’d like to try and identify those problems beforehand and address them,” he said Monday.

Some of the ideas that CEMA puts forward are as simple as backing up data and storing copies in an off-site location.

READ MORE: Calgary Chamber of Commerce, CEMA roll out business disaster plan

WATCH BELOW: 4 years later: Calgarians remember the June 2013 floods

“Is there a single point of failure in your business, can you process transactions through a computer or a point of sale, could your business operate in an alternate location,” Sampson asks.

In it’s Business Continuity Handbook, CEMA states companies unable to resume operations within 10 days are not likely to survive. Sampson said it’s important to get information out to them in a timely fashion.

“If you look at what the Calgary Chamber did, we only had a one per cent loss in our small business rate, literally, they helped people get back on their feet.”

The Chamber also wants companies to sign up for it’s Emergency Business Contact Database, which during emergencies will help provide timely information to businesses.

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