Homeowners, are you ready for a disaster… at work?
Most homeowners have had many reminders lately to be prepared for an unexpected disaster. Frequent wildfires, floods, mudslides and power outages are present enough in most of our lives to drive the message home to “be prepared” at home. We have published several articles in the past relating to both individual and family disaster preparation.
Being prepared at home is great for the twelve hours a day or so that you are there. But what happens if the disaster strikes when you are at work? Do you know what to do?
Most large corporations have detailed plans in place for employees to follow if an emergency might occur during the work hours. But what if you are self-employed or work in a small office with fifty or fewer employees?
If you are an individual working in a small environment such as this, you need to bring the need for an emergency/disaster plan to the attention of the manager. It could be a matter of life or death.
Here is how to start creating a plan:
Meet with your staff and co-workers as soon as possible. Make them aware of the need. Put someone in charge and set a date for starting and completing the disaster plan.
The plan should include:
- Research likely disaster risks: Fire, flood, earthquake, tsunami etc. and plan for most likely events
- Physical preparations to harden the work space: securing furniture, providing for emergency food and water rations, first-aid material, back-up power, blankets, lights, gas shut-off location etc.
- Determine taking cover, sheltering in place, meeting-up and safe refuge areas
- Prepare a communication plan: Make an updated roster with contacts, learn how to get news, what to do if phones and internet are out
- Map out an evacuation plan
- Design a survival in place plan
- Create and post an emergency checklist to follow
- Notification plan to all employees and families
- Conduct regular drills
Make it a priority to follow through and get the plan up and running.
If you need help, there are great resources available at: https://www.homepreservationmanual.com/emergency/
Use the Fema guidelines at: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4085/updates/developing-emergency-plan-workplace
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