No matter where you live, you’re susceptible to some kind of natural emergency. It’s just a question of what kind. For me in South Florida, it’s heat and hurricanes. For you, it could be flooding or freezing temperatures (well, maybe not this winter).
As business people, part of our responsibility is to protect our organizations during emergencies. But taking care of furniture, fixtures and equipment is the easy part. We need to make sure our employees are prepared as well. At home as well as at work. I’ve been through enough unexpected winter storms and hurricane warnings in my lifetime to know an employee’s first reaction is to take care of their homes and families – not the company.
That’s why I wanted to share with you the Ad Council and the New York City Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Ready New York campaign to encourage businesses, employees, and their families to Resolve to be Ready in 2012. Ready New York’s latest online tool, the Readiness Challenge, takes users through a real-life emergency situation that forces them to make quick decisions at every turn. It’s pretty cool. Once users have completed all the scenarios, they can refer to various OEM resources to create an emergency plan.
Even if you don’t live in New York, this can be valuable. For example, they have a “Beat the Heat” guide with tips on how to stay healthy during the summer months. The guide is offered in 6 languages.
And their guide for Seniors and People with Disabilities provides instructions for developing a disaster plan, emergency supply kit and creating a support network – in 9 languages as well as audio instructions.
There are also guides for pets and kids.
What New York City is doing can be a blueprint for you to develop an emergency plan for your employees. Or you can use it as an opportunity to organize a group of businesses in your area to create your own local guide. The important thing is to help your employees get prepared. It’s in the best interest of your business.