A friendly reminder: Start an emergency preparedness plan now
When the unexpected happens, our lives are turned upside down. A family member is hurt or becomes ill, our car is totaled in a car accident, or a job loss occurs. In most cases, some contingency planning is already in place. For example, we have insurance to cover the financial impact of an illness or car wreck. Although it is still difficult to handle those events, having the financial backup of a good insurance plan helps us get through the disaster. Although you can’t insure a job, you can make sure you continue upgrading your expertise and that you are networking in your industry. That way, you have marketable skills and contacts when you do have to enter a job search.
But the truth is, most companies don’t have contingency plans. A recent study from FM Global found that three-fourths of Americans do not feel their employers are prepared for a natural disaster. The report explains that lack of preparedness not only puts the business jeopardy, but it also affects employee performance. Most employees said they wouldn’t feel safe in their workplace during a disaster, and they don’t believe their organization would bounce back quickly if one occurred.
If you know an emergency response plan is important, but you are too overwhelmed to start the process, OSHA offers the following resources:
• Tips for general business on getting their organizations ready for the unexpected.
• The Hurricane Matrix is an interactive Web-based tool for assessing hurricane preparedness and response. With hurricane season upon us, this is a great time to review your plan for natural disasters.
• OSHA’s emergency response page also includes guidance on handling specific hazards, such as anthrax, chemical hazards, oil spills, pandemics and radiation accidents.
Start small with a few general guidelines for who will notify employees in the event of a disaster and how you will protect workers and property. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a full emergency preparedness and response program. Your employees will thank you for it, and your business will be protected.