According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), a natural disaster has affected every US region since 2011. Are you prepared? Are your employees prepared? Is your business prepared? There are lots of resources available from FEMA and FloridaDisaster.org, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, to assist with building an emergency plan for businesses and families.
Prepare During National Safety Month
Since natural disasters and other dangers cannot be avoided, it is vital to plan for the best possible outcome. Once a plan is in place, communicate with your employees about the processes and details. Make sure to update their emergency contact information at least annually so you are able to account for your employees and educate the employees about shelters, community resources, and the chain of command for your organization in case the designated person is not available. Have a safety meeting with a scheduled emergency drill, and review the crisis communication plan. If a meeting is not possible for all your locations you may need to promote via emails, intranet, posters, and payroll stuffers.
With technology advancing so quickly, the use of social media is vital to update your employees on the status of disaster and the workplace. Consider establishing a “Closed Group” on sites such as Facebook as a way to keep in contact with employees not only during emergencies but throughout the year. FEMA has a 12 page booklet that you can download that directs a business through the whole planning process.
Protect your most valued assets, your employees. Encourage them to prepare their families and homes for disasters. The Department of Homeland Security has put together a calendar and toolkit for individuals to plan. Promote this website and inspire them to prepare. This mundane task can be fun if you incorporate a challenge with it. Have employees complete their planning and send in proof (pictures of supplies or videos of evacuation drills).
Remember, a commitment to planning today will help support employees, customers, the community, the local economy and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.