The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. This year the season kicked off a bit earlier than usual with Tropical Storm Alberto making landfall in late May. It is now time to double-check that not only is your Business Continuity (BC) Team prepared and ready to be activated in the event of a disaster impacting your organization, but how prepared are your other employees and their families to deal with such an impact?
At MissionMode, we talk a lot about business continuity planning and how to prepare for disasters on an organizational or company-wide level, but it’s also extremely important that your employees are prepared on an individual level (at home), as well. Disaster preparedness at home not only saves lives and reduces potential property loss or damage, but also makes bouncing back after the event easier for all. If employees are prepared both in their workplace and at home, it will help your business continuity and disaster response and recovery run that much more smoothly and efficiently!
Disaster 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, tropical storm, or any other sort of natural disaster strikes. There is no one-size-fits-all emergency preparedness plan because it will depend on the needs of your family, your pets, your home and the type of disasters you are most likely to experience in your geographic area. Though plans will vary from family to family and household to household, there are definite building blocks that should be considered.
1. Get together as a family and become familiar with the type of natural hazards and risks that are prevalent in your geographic area or community. Understand the types of risks your family may face.
2. Construct a family emergency plan that includes how you will handle each of these risks – from a prevention, safety, and response standpoint.
3. Plan for disasters that may require you and your family to shelter in place (i.e. tornado or hazmat spill), as well as disasters that will require you to evacuate (i.e. flooding, fire, volcano, hurricane). Make sure all understand and know what to do.
4. Establish an agreed upon meeting location outside of your home and far away from the danger, as well as establishing 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.
5. Assign preparedness responsibilities to each family member, as you organize your family’s plan. Creating a family emergency kit is the perfect way to include each member of the family in this activity. Each of your employees should develop a well-stocked disaster preparedness kit for their home to include items such as flashlights, batteries, changes 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 ready to go and stored in a durable, water resistant container.
6. Discuss and practice these preparedness initiatives on a regular basis with all members of the family. The more aquatinted the family is with these procedures, the easier these actions will be to execute when the time comes.
Employees Ready When You Need Them
Encouraging your organization’s employees to shore up their personal preparedness plans does, indeed, have an impact on your organization’s business continuity, disaster recovery, and overall company resilience. By providing employees with resources and education on how they can effectively and efficiently create these plans and emergency kits for themselves, you are setting them up for success in the face of a disaster or event that may impact them, their family or home.
Encourage your employees to plan to be self-reliant for up to 72 hours, that means having on hand enough food, water, medicine, and all other necessary resources they may need for up to three days, incase assistance is not available. If your employees are prepared at this level, they will not only be ready on a personal front, but also will be available to support the company and the potential activation of the BC Team, if impacted by a hurricane, tropical storm, or any other natural disaster. Therefore, when disaster strikes, they can respond to the needs of the organization while having a clear peace of mind that their family is prepared and well-equipped to whether the storm, unassisted, at home. By taking personal employee preparedness into account and making it part of your BC team’s education and outreach efforts year-round, you are setting all up for success on an individual level and allowing each individual more comfort dedicating time and efforts to the crucial aspects of your organization’s response and recovery actions.
MissionMode is the trusted leader in providing organizations with an effective and reliable emergency notification and incident management system specifically designed to handle your needs from end to end. Our Situation Center Suite acts as a virtual command center in times of crisis, helping your organization stay on track through both emergencies or more routine operations by enabling your team to effectively communicate and project manage incidents from onset to resolution. The MissionMode Notification Center allows our clients to send two-way multimodal notifications to employees during times of crisis.
From incident management to mass notification to interactive field communications, mobile control, integrated weather planning and more, MissionMode’s team of seasoned and certified emergency managers and business continuity practitioners are dedicated to being an intuitive and easy to use partner in your incident management and mass communication needs.