Employees are the most valuable asset that a business has, especially in an emergency. Involve your staff in emergency planning and awareness. Stay involved with their safety needs and suggestions. Practice!
- Involve your staff in emergency planning and awareness with newsletters and staff meetings.
- Encourage all employees to prepare and keep a personal to-go bag at work.
- Encourage or provide emergency training for staff.
- Practice your plan and evacuation drills every six months. Set up a system of trained evacuation leaders for designated areas or levels of your office. Each leader will escort an evacuation group out of the building to a designated spot and account for employees in each designated area.
- Inform your employees about emergency communication and decisions with coworkers, managers, vendors, and customers.
- Provide extra time for employees to care for family and personal needs. Worries about family well-being and personal difficulties can consume workers who have experienced a disaster.
- Reassure employees and allow for breaks where coworkers can talk openly about their fears and hopes.
- Reestablish routines, when possible. Workplace routines facilitate recovery by providing an opportunity to be active and to restore social contact.
- Offer professional counselors to help coworkers address their fears and anxieties.
- Once the need to listen for emergency instructions has passed, limit television, radio, and other external stresses.
- Make sure you and other leaders take care of your own well-being. Your personal health and recovery is vital your employees.
- Encourage all employees to have a personal to-go bag.
- Plan two evacuation routes because hallways or staircases may blocked in a disaster.
- Discuss evacuation arrangements and medical needs with your manager.
- Create a network of caregivers, coworkers, and managers to aid you in an emergency.
- Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment.
- If you are mobility impaired and live or work in a high-rise building, have an escape chair.
- Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
- Keep one week’s supply of prescription medications at work or in a to-go bag.
- Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
- Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify your disability.
- Know the location and availability of more than one facility if you depend on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
From Ready.gov: Talk to Your People
From FEMA: Individuals with Special Needs