Your employees and co-workers are your business's most important and valuable asset. There are some procedures you can put in place before a disaster, but you should also learn about what people need to recover after a disaster. It is possible that your staff will need time to ensure the well-being of their family members, but getting back to work is important to the personal recovery of people who have experienced disasters. It is important to re-establish routines, when possible.
Two-way communication is central before, during and after a disaster.
Include emergency preparedness information in newsletters, on company intranet, periodic employee emails and other internal communications tools.
Consider setting up a telephone calling tree, a password-protected page on the company website, an email alert or a call-in voice recording to communicate with employees in an emergency.
Designate an out-of-town phone number where employees can leave an "I'm Okay" message in a catastrophic disaster.
Provide all co-workers with wallet cards detailing instructions on how to get company information in an emergency situation. Include telephone numbers or Internet passwords for easy reference.
Maintain open communications where co-workers are free to bring questions and concerns to company leadership.
Ensure you have established staff members who are responsible for communicating regularly to employees.
Talk to co-workers with disabilities. If you have employees with disabilities ask about what assistance is needed. People with disabilities typically know what assistance they will need in an emergency.
Identify co-workers in your organization with special needs.
Engage people with disabilities in emergency planning.
Ask about communications difficulties, physical limitations, equipment instructions and medication procedures.
Identify people willing to help co-workers with disabilities and be sure they are able to handle the job. This is particularly important if someone needs to be lifted or carried.
Plan how you will alert people who cannot hear an alarm or instructions.
Frequently review and practice what you intend to do during and after an emergency with drills and exercises.