Natural Disasters at Work: Are You Prepared?

Natural Disasters are unpredictable and always seem to strike at the most in-opportune times. In California, the natural disasters we tend to plan for most are fires and earthquakes. Many people have at least one, if not multiple earthquake kits should a disaster strike while you are at home, but what about natural disasters at work?  What are the emergency supplies you have at the workplace? Who knows where these supplies are and how to access them? Responsibilities like these tend to be the responsibility of HR professionals, owners, and operators. If this blog is setting off the “panic” alarm for you, have no fear: We’ve got a few pointers and considerations for you!

1. Be Informed! Know about the potential natural disasters you may face in your company (i.e. flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, Winter storms, etc.). Consider what precautions should be put in place BEFORE the disaster strikes! Perhaps it’s time to invest in emergency kits for the workplace!

2. Make a Plan! Time to round up key members of the organization, maybe the facilities manager, the President or General Manager, a line employee and talk about what makes the most sense for your organization. This plan could include meeting points, communication chains, key personnel that will be responsible for securing emergency kits and taking attendance.

3. Consider the Kit! Depending on the disasters your area faces and the size of your workforce, the items needed could change. Buy the items NOW! Don’t wait the storm to be moving in to buy supplies. I can tell you from experience, if you wait it will be difficult, if not impossible to find supplies.

4. Practice! We all remember being in school and having a fire drill or earthquake drill. That wasn’t just an educational exercise for the students, it was for the adults too! In a situation where emotions run high, like natural disasters, you can’t rely on logic to kick in. Practice what you are going to do!

No matter the disaster you might face, it’s always better to be prepared. If you need some specific help in planning for your disaster, you can start with Ready.gov. This handy resource helps you plan for each kind of disaster. Don’t be caught unprepared!