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Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready for a Disaster?

Posted by OMNIA Partners on June 27, 2019

large government buildingAt some point, your organization will face an emergency – whether it’s a natural disaster or human-made. These emergencies can be make-or-break moments for procurement teams. The key to surviving and even thriving in a time of crisis is planning.

Emergencies generally interrupt procurement processes even as an organization’s needs may be increasing from the crisis itself. Severe weather, intentional acts and infrastructure issues can all wreak havoc on day-to-day business practices. Are you ready?

Planning and preparation will get you there. In a crisis, procurement teams are essentially first responders, helping ensure supplies and services are acquired and distributed quickly and effectively. Getting the right supplies to people in need is a life or death matter. No matter what emergency strikes, it’s important to be able to restore, repair and replace key goods and services as fast as possible. 

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

  1. Be included. Procurement professionals need to be part of emergency planning at the highest level and take part in any training exercises for first responders. 
  2. Plan, plan, plan. Build a meticulous plan for the whole procurement group, and for how procurement interfaces with the broader emergency response team.
  3. Know who to call. The National Cooperative Procurement Partners has built a list of key contract categories to get you started. Download the whitepaper for the list. Add any local or regional contacts so everyone knows who to contact. If you are part of a cooperative purchasing organization, include them in this planning.
  4. Make a toolkit. Have supplies, extra batteries and chargers, food and water, and other needs covered in the event of a prolonged power outage or other issue that prevents normal office operations.
  5. Follow FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has strict procurement guidelines, and failing to adhere to them can be very costly. Understand FEMA regulations before disaster strikes to prevent any funding issues.

The planning doesn’t end there. When disaster does strike, it’s crucial to have a step-by-step guideline for the procurement team to ensure maximum effectiveness, follow established procedures and regulations and avoid overpaying. 

For full details and tips on emergency preparedness and how to respond to any disaster, download our whitepaper.


If you have any questions about making your procurement processes more effective, whether you’re facing an emergency or not, contact OMNIA Partners.

Topics: Procurement