A prepared employee is part of your response tool kit.
Empowering your employees to be individually prepared will help your organization to bounce back faster should a disaster occur. Here’s how:
Help Employees Help Themselves
- Email employees the link to ready.gov. Encourage them to make a list of things they will do to prepare.
- Encourage everyone to sign up for the local Office of Emergency Management alerts. These provide real time disaster alerts, information, and post-disaster resources.
- Remind your employees to keep some cash in their emergency kit ($200 is recommended). Many stores may not have the ability to process credit or debit card transactions if the power or Internet goes out, so having cash on hand is essential.
Create a Supportive Environment
- Provide mental health and other supportive resources. Prior to the event, distribute reminders about your EAP and other benefits. Information about how to cope during a disaster is also helpful.
- Offer flexibility with work schedules and other business processes both before a possible disaster and in its aftermath.
- Remind your employees where they can find information about flexible scheduling, time off, alternate housing, or how to apply for a special employee fund (if available).
- If your organization is located in an area that is prone to hurricanes or wildfires, develop a plan for housing employees if your immediate area must be evacuated. Include a housing continuity plan for those who might be displaced long term.
- Acknowledge that natural disasters are stressful and that preparing for and recovering from them takes time, money, and effort. Demonstrating that you care will create an environment of safety and trust.
- Prepare for an event by running Facility Evacuation and Accounting for People drills.
- Conduct a Notification Drill. This will familiarize employees with the process for receiving and responding to emergency messages.
- After each Notification Drill, update any out-of-date or undeliverable contacts.
- Remind employees about the importance of a personal emergency kit and provide a list of suggested items.
- Suggest all employees develop a personal family reunification emergency plan.