Written By: Geoff Williams, President & CEO, 3Ci Global Solutions & CMTV (Crisis Management Television)
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. This year the season kicked off with Tropical Storm Alberto making an impact in late May. Now is the time to confirm your crisis and emergency management/business continuity (BC) and recovery teams are prepared and ready to be activated in the event of a hurricane that might impact your business or organization. Have you thought about how your entire staff and their families are prepared to deal with such an impact?
At 3Ci Global Solutions, we talk a lot about crisis and disaster management, business continuity planning and how to organize for disasters on an organizational or company-wide level. However one other element is often overlooked, namely that it is extremely important that your employees are prepared on an individual level (welfare at home), as well. Disaster preparedness welfare planning at home not only saves lives and reduces potential property loss or damage, but also makes recovering after such events easier for all. If your personnel are prepared in their workplace and at home, it will help your emergency response, business continuity & disaster response and recovery run more quickly, safer and smoothly with increased cost efficiency!
Disaster Welfare Preparedness at Home
Being prepared for a disaster at home isn’t always quick and simple, but the time and effort put in is well worth it if and when a hurricane, or any other sort of natural or human induced emergency strikes. Though plans will always vary, there are definite key elements that must be considered:
- Get together as a family and familiarize yourselves with the type of natural hazards and risks that are prevalent in your geographic area or community. Fully understand the types of risks your family may face.
- Construct a family emergency plan that includes how you will handle each of these risks – from a prevention, safety, and survival response angle.
- Plan for events that may require you and your family to shelter in place, such as a hurricane, tornado, hazmat spill, terrorist attack, etc., as well as events that will require you to evacuate: flooding, fire, volcano, or hurricane. Make sure everyone understands the determined plan and knows what to do.
- Establish a meeting location outside of your home and far away from the danger, as well as establish an out of state/area emergency contact, in case you and your family get split up. This will allow family members to check in and provide updates on their safety and well-being. Use Facebook and other social media means to assist in this quest.
- Assign preparedness responsibilities to each family member, within your family’s plan. Creating an emergency survival kit is a good way to include each member of the family in this task. Each of your employees should develop a well-stocked disaster preparedness kit for their home and include items such as flashlights, batteries, change of clothing, non-perishable food items, bottled water, a hand-crank radio, copies of important files, documents, and personal information, as well as other essentials. These items should be stored in a durable, water resistant container and should be placed in a convenient location. NOTE: be sure to evaluate any additional items, medical attention or plans for any disabled or ill members of the family and any family pets as they will all need to be incorporated into your plan.
- Discuss and practice these preparedness initiatives on a regular basis. The more accustomed the family is with these procedures, the easier their actions will be to perform when needed.
Having a Workforce Ready for Action
Encouraging your organization’s personnel to increase their personal preparedness plans does indeed have an impact on your organization’s ability to survive a major hurricane striking your enterprise. Not only is business continuity, disaster recovery, and overall company resilience necessary but a willingness and understanding by employees that their job security depends on their actions. Now is the time to provide employees with resources and education on how they can effectively and efficiently create emergency plans and survival kits for themselves. Remember, you are setting them up for survival in the face of a disaster or crisis that may impact them and their family and/or home.
Encourage them to plan to be self-reliant for at least 72 hours. This means having enough food, water, medicine, and all other necessary resources they may need if emergency help is unavailable. If they are prepared at this level, they will not only be ready on a personal front, but will be available to support the company and the potential activation of the crisis, business continuity and emergency response teams, if a hurricane, major storm, or any other natural or human induced disaster strikes. Therefore, when disaster strikes, they can respond to the needs of the company while having a clear peace of mind that their family is prepared and well-equipped to sustain the event.
By taking personal employee preparedness into account and making it a part of your emergency response teams’ ‘culture’ education and awareness year-round, you’re setting up for immediate survival followed by success. Such preparation aides not only from a corporate level but also at an individual level by facilitating each individual with more security and confidence and providing them the ability to clearly concentrate their mindsets and efforts in attending to the critical key elements of your business or organization’s response and recovery actions.
3Ci Global Solutions can help you with your planning and safety/preparedness assessments. To find out more visit www.3ciglobalsolutions.co.uk and/or email: email@example.com and one of our consultants will be in touch.