As September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, Bob Risk, who advises Staples and other large national corporations on disaster preparedness, has created a tip sheet to help show businesses what they need to do to prevent unnecessary damage and loss due to storms. Bob was kind enough to share his tip sheet with us here today:
4 essential tips (from Staples) to keep your business safe during a storm or natural disaster
A recent Staples survey found that one of the biggest workplace safety concerns is natural disasters. Whether it be a natural disaster or storm, Staples’ in-house expert Bob Risk, Senior Strategic Safety, Health and Wellness Manager offers the following tips to help businesses prepare for the unexpected.
1- Create a small business preparedness plan
Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents said natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, have not caused a reassessment of safety plans. An effective plan includes:
- Procedures to respond to various emergency situations
- Methods to recover and maintain business continuity
- Securing adequate resources and supplies for crisis events
- Employee training
- Always have a back-up plan
2- Make sure you have all the necessary and correct safety products in a place that can be easily reached during an emergency
From first aid kits and supplies to fire extinguishers and required safety signs, make sure your office has all the essentials to keep employees safe – and make sure to communicate where these essential items can be found. The products need to be monitored to make sure that not only are all the items within manufacturer’s code limits, but that they have not been depleted in some way.
3- Establish a communication protocol for before the storm, during the storm, and after the storm
In times of emergency, nearly one out of three respondents (32%) said their workplace communicates what to expect at the last minute. Make sure all employees are aware in a timely manner of what to expect in a natural disaster or storm and always test and discuss back-up plans.
4- Protect both physical and technological property of your business
Be sure to have the proper equipment to ready your office for a storm and to ensure all crucial data is backed up.
Remember: It is always easier to prepare for an emergency than having to explain why you didn’t.
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.