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As a business owner, it’s a good idea to have an emergency contact information form filled out and given to your local law enforcement. If there is ever a burglary, break in, or fire, you as the owner can be notified immediately.

If you’re starting a business, add this document to your business licenses, permits & tax to-do list, otherwise you’ll forget about it. Then what happens if there’s an emergency?

Check your police department’s website to see if there is an emergency contact information form to fill out. If not, visit the police station to pick up a form in person.

Filling Out Your Emergency Contact Information Form

The form will ask you basic contact information for your business, as well as emergency contact information for at least three people who have 24-hour access to your business. You can be one of those after-hours contacts. Consider who else you want on your list. You might add your store manager to the list, but make sure to update the information if he leaves your company. A close family member who has a key to your business would also be a good candidate.

You may also be asked to fill out your alarm company information. If you received your alarm permit, you should be able to pull this information from there.

Creating an Emergency Plan

While you’re on the subject of emergencies, take time to consider what you would do if there were such an issue. Write out an emergency plan to execute in specific situations, both during work hours and after hours:

  • Earthquake
  • Fire
  • Theft or break-in
  • Flood
  • Terrorist Threat

Your plan might include a phone tree, where each employee calls another to alert them of the situation. Again, make sure this list is kept updated, as employees are prone to turnover.

Also write out what the scenario would be if you were out of town during an emergency, and unreachable. Who should an employee or the police contact, and who can act on your behalf?

Storing Valuable Paperwork

One more step in creating a contingency plan for emergencies involves making sure your important paperwork is safe. This includes articles of incorporation, business licenses, and insurance paperwork.

Store these documents in a safe or safety deposit box, or at least make sure you have a copy in cloud storage. Then if your building burns down or is flooded, you still have your paperwork.