General Preparedness

The information found in the General Disaster Preparedness section of this site is recommended as the first source of information for any business looking to better prepare for disaster.

Disaster consequences are often common regardless of the Specific threat type. Many of these “common consequences” can be prepared for by following the information in the general preparedness section of this site.

However, you may be interested in the information on a specific threat and its unique characteristics, consequences and preparedness guidelines.

For this purpose, we have provided links to information covering the following threat types; biological, radiological/nuclear, chemical, explosive, cyber and natural events (floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards).

Recent history has shown us the price that businesses pay when they are unprepared for disasters. It’s important that businesses respond and recover quickly to safeguard our region’s economic vitality in the face of disaster. It is also important that government agencies, nonprofits and business work together to be well-prepared for disasters.

No matter what the threat may be, there are general principles that apply to preventing, preparing for, and recovering from every kind of natural disaster.

These Web sites give you some information on those general principles for becoming and staying prepared:

Note: The following links are provided as a resource only. The content provided was not prepared by the Pittsburgh Regional Business Coalition for Homeland Security (PRBCHS), and is not necessarily endorsed by PRBCHS. is the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services’ official disaster preparedness site. Individuals and businesses should make disaster plans, build disaster kits, and get involved in disaster preparations, because vital services may not be restored for at least 72 hours in a major disaster. Offered in English, Spanish, and Chinese language versions.

Designing Secure Buildings

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) presents this primer for Architects (in PDF) on incorporating security features into building design.

Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs to assist businesses in mitigation as well as disaster recovery efforts. Learn more about the SBA Mitigation Loan Program or visit the SBA’s Disaster Recovery website.

Emergency and Evacuation Planning

The National Fire Protection Association offers a fact sheet (in PDF) on developing emergency plans and conducting evacuation drills. A full-version is available for purchase online.

Emergency Planning

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes. Available as HTML document or PDF.

Emergency Planning

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration provides an eTool and guidelines for developing an emergency action plan. Designed to help small, low-hazard service or retail businesses.

Emergency Planning and Recovery

The Institute for Business and Home offers a planning kit for small businesses, Open for Business Toolkit (in PDF), that contains essential tools to help make a business preparedness plan. For post-disaster needs, check out Getting Back to Business,” (also in PDF).

Facilities Standards

The General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of the Chief Architect provides a site containing facility standards for public buildings.

Homeland Security Guide Download PDF

A Guide to Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Protection at the State, Regional, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Level. Available in PDF.

Protecting Building Environments

NIOSH offers preventive measures that building owners and managers can take to protect building environments from a terrorist release of chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants, and on the installation of filtration and air-cleaning systems to protect facilities in such an event.

Protecting Building Environments

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LLBL) provides a website offering advice for emergency personnel and building operators for dealing with biological or chemical releases in a building.

Protecting High-Rise and High-Risk Buildings

Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) offers this comprehensive guide to strengthen emergency management of high-rise and high-risk buildings. Offered in English and French language versions.

Resources for Emergency Planners

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has created a web site with links to multiple sources of information useful for businesses in development of emergency plans.

Security Vulnerability

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) offers this guide for the chemical industry on conducting a security vulnerability analysis

Shelter In Place

The National Institute for Chemical Studies offers a guide (in PDF) for preparing a shelter-in-place plan for the workplace.


ARC also offers a helpful guide to sheltering-in-place at home, work or school.

Site Security

The American Chemistry Council, in conjunction with the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association and the Chlorine Institute prepared this guide for implementing a quality site security management system.

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