By Charity Kilbourn – Sr. Content Leader, ACTN Strategies LLC
2020 has been a year of chaos. On top of a global pandemic that negatively impacted businesses across the United States, we have also had unprecedented wildfires and an extremely active hurricane season.
The best way businesses can prepare their employees for emergencies like the ones we have all experienced in some form or another this year, is to develop a plan that is unique to your organization.
Evaluate Your Surroundings
In order to develop a plan that will prepare you and your employees in the event of a natural hazard, pandemic, or security emergency, you must first evaluate your surroundings and existing risk factors. For example, if your company is located in the Great Plains, you should be aware of the increased risk of tornadoes. If you are located on the Atlantic Coast, you should be aware of the increased risk for hurricanes. And of course, we are all at risk for pandemics and security threats.
Having a solid understanding of existing risk factors can be invaluable when developing the best plan for you and your employees in the event of an emergency.
Cover Your Bases
According to the United States Department of Labor, “General training for your employees should address the following:
- Individual roles and responsibilities;
- Threats, hazards, and protective actions;
- Notification, warning, and communications procedures;
- Means for locating family members in an emergency;
- Emergency response procedures;
- Evacuation, shelter, and accountability procedures;
- Location and use of common emergency equipment; and
- Emergency shutdown procedures.”
Having this structure in place will give your employees a sense of security and direction no matter what event occurs.
The best way to prepare your business and employees in the event of an emergency is to establish an emergency preparedness and operational continuity program by using a team of experts to provide the following:
- A comprehensive organizational assessment.
- Development of a unique business continuity and preparedness plan.
- Training for your staff on pandemic protocols, emergency awareness, and more.
Remember, you have the power to prepare for any situation. Investing now in a plan for your business can help prevent distress for you and your employees in the future.