Is your staff prepared for a disaster to strike your area? Recently, south Louisiana was devastated by a no-name storm and the kind of historic flooding that had not occurred in 500 years. There was no warning as the skies opened up and dumped, in some areas, over two feet of rain. Now, homes that were in no-flood zones are being gutted after sitting in water for days. Due to the quick thinking of good, everyday people, thousands of people were rescued from the rising waters.
What does this have to do with staffing concerns in Houston?
This month is National Preparedness Month, and last month’s horrendous events are a stark reminder of how quickly an entire area can be affected by an emergency situation especially in light of Houston’s own recent flooding. ExecuTeam Staffing urges both our clients and our candidates to consider these events and to consider their own preparedness plan. In the event of an emergency, what will you and your staff do? Does your staff know how you will communicate with them in the event of a crisis? If during work hours, does your staff have a plan to reunite with family?
Creating an Office Emergency Plan and protocols to contact employees actively demonstrates to your staff that you have their best interest as more than an employee. Taking these types of actions is not only good for your office morale, but also for your business reputation and your clients and customers. When disaster strikes, a well-laid plan can help mitigate your loss of customers or long term economic loss due to disruption of service.
What steps should you take?
- Start by creating an Office Emergency Plan. There are many resources online which can help you create a plan and assess that plan’s effectiveness.
- Find out what your landlord’s emergency plan is.
- Talk to neighboring businesses to compare plans and work together.
- Create an Office Preparedness Kit which should include first aid, water, and non-perishable food. Employees may need to shelter in place if a disaster occurs during office hours.
- Encourage employees to consider their own Family Emergency Plans.
What Resources are available to you?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/features/beready/
- City of Houston – Office of Emergency Management: http://www.houstonoem.org
- Department of Homeland Security: https://www.ready.gov/business
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: https://community.fema.gov/
Having an Emergency Plan makes you a better employer and business which is essential in Houston’s competitive market. Not only does being prepared show an awareness and concern of your employees’ health and safety, but it allows you to quickly address issues which could add to the potential devastation of your employees and customers. This is the month to join together and potentially make a difference which can offset the next disaster.