Disaster preparedness amid hurricane season

Responding is Peter Steinfeld, senior vp of security options, AlertMedia, Austin, TX.

The most up-to-date local weather report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and hurricane forecast from Colorado State University present an total rise in temperature, increased precipitation and expectations for one more “above average” hurricane season – which begins June 1 and runs by means of November.

Although hurricanes predominantly influence companies and amenities alongside the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines, their results are felt far inland and throughout the nation. This means hurricane preparedness must be a key consideration for enterprise continuity plans no matter geography.

In addition to places of work, warehouses, area amenities and different company-owned buildings that could be within the direct path of a storm, the speedy rise of distributed groups and infrastructure means organizations coast to coast are much more more likely to have crucial belongings in areas vulnerable to hurricanes. And with hundreds of thousands of workers now working remotely – usually removed from company headquarters – it’s more and more seemingly that some aren’t acquainted or comfy with hurricane preparedness or evacuation procedures. Additionally, even when amenities and personnel aren’t straight affected, main storms can nonetheless disrupt operations due to provider impacts, transportation delays and extra. As a outcome, organizations should now consider enterprise continuity by means of a brand new lens, factoring in not solely areas alongside the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, but in addition a variety of secondary impacts.

When formulating a hurricane preparedness plan, think about what will likely be affected – from particular person workers and their properties to firm buildings and the belongings inside. Although individuals nearer to the shoreline could expertise extra quick influence and property injury, excessive winds and floodwaters can have an effect on properties and amenities tons of of miles inland. If you haven’t already, undertake an emergency communication system, and ensure worker information is updated – together with house addresses, which can have modified because of new, versatile work insurance policies.

The excellent news is that hurricanes are foreseeable and fashionable expertise permits meteorologists to watch a possible hurricane earlier than it’s even a tropical storm within the Atlantic. For companies, fashionable threat-monitoring instruments mix information from websites reminiscent of Weather.gov with different trusted sources world wide, cross-reference asset location and worker information, after which set off notifications ought to any amenities or workers be liable to influence.

An important a part of hurricane preparedness is offering all workers with emergency response coaching and guaranteeing they’re aware of evacuation procedures so that they keep secure and might help decrease enterprise loss. Additionally, it’s crucial to have an emergency response workforce outdoors of the influence space to assist workers effectively safe amenities and navigate evacuation. This workforce ought to embrace security and safety specialists, human sources and inside communications personnel, and an government sponsor.

Multichannel, two-way emergency communication programs enable emergency response groups to ship steady updates, supply sources and obtain responses ought to an worker discover themselves in quick hazard. Once the storm has handed, employers’ disaster restoration plans ought to embrace check-ins with workers to evaluate the standing of their security and make sure whether or not their base areas are secure to return to.

Many workers really feel that security is a vital issue when contemplating the place they work, so they should really feel assured that their employer is ready to deal with communications throughout an emergency. Keeping workers knowledgeable earlier than, throughout and after disasters offers a way of thoughtfulness, care and assist that may be life-changing.

Editor’s notice: This article represents the unbiased views of the writer and shouldn’t be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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