Managing Your Business Under Mandatory Evacuation

Imagine this: Your business lies within a zone that is subject to a mandatory evacuation order from emergency response and law enforcement officials.  Imagine that the evacuation order arises from a fire or imminent flooding.  What do you do?  Shut your business and get out of course.  Most evacuation orders are short lived and the hazardous conditions are realized or not within a short period of time.  But what happens when the evacuation order persists for a number of days or even weeks?  Your plant operations or business remains shut down.  You may have compelling business interests that demand attention during an extended evacuation order.  You may need to respond to security alarms and alerts, or ensure that the premises are adequately secured.  There may be a fear of product spoliation or destruction, and you may face a serious temptation to send a minimal or skeleton crew into the area covered by the evacuation order in order to ensure that those business concerns are addressed.

Lawyers are trained to look at scenarios like this in reverse.  The employer sends a skeleton crew in to secure the premises or ensure that essential processes are completed or that products do not spoil. Something bad then happens.  The wildfire burns down the surrounding area or the flood arrives and employees are injured.  Now what?

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