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October 13, 2017

Wildfire Preparedness for Federal Firearms Licensees

Disaster Preparedness for Federal Firearms Licensees – ATF Publication 3317.7

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recommends that all FFLs create a Disaster Preparedness Plan. Such a plan will help you to safeguard your business, facilitate a quick recovery and protect the public from the risk of theft or other loss of firearms and ammunition.

Having a Disaster Preparedness Plan is the best way for you to anticipate, prepare for, mitigate the effect of and recover from a business disruption. Having a plan can prevent unnecessary loss of life and ensure that a business can recover. A thorough plan based on a worst-case scenario can also serve to address non-catastrophic, minor disruptions to business.

As part of your Disaster Preparedness Plan, create and keep up to date a set of records that includes insurance policies, suppliers and contact lists, along with computer backups of these items. Store these records and backups in fire- and waterproof locations. Keep current copies of important records off-site. If a disaster is imminent, contact ATF to seek approval to remove all business records to a safe location.

Also as part of you plan, conduct an inventory and ensure that records are up to date. These will be vital in assisting law enforcement and establishing accurate losses for insurance purposes. Remember that a plan for securing your inventory at an alternate location if a disaster is imminent can and should be part of your Disaster Preparedness Plan, and if that’s a consideration for you, you’ll need to inform the ATF of this location. Be assured that the local ATF offices may also be making preparations, but will be standing by to provide assistance. The ATF can be contacted via its 24-hour hotline at 800-800-3855.

Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources and agriculture. We encourage you download the How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide and the Prepare Your Organization for a Wildfire Playbook, which provide the basics of wildfires, explain how to protect yourself and your property and detail the steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home or your business is in danger.

Next, familiarize yourself with local community emergency plans. Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the internet with your town, city or county name and the word “alerts.”

Prepare your employee. Hold a “preparedness discussion to share information and motivate your employees to take steps for personal preparedness.

Emphasize the importance of being prepared to evacuate by remembering the “Five Ps”: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, and Priceless Items. Also, outline your organization’s emergency communications plans and policies, so your employees know how to communicate with you and how you will be communicating with them.

You might also be interested in: Managing Your FFL After a Crisis Hits


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