Is Your Workplace Prepared For An Emergency?
No-one really likes to think about emergencies or disasters striking, whether at home or in the workplace. However, as the old insurance saying goes, “prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” Many of us do just that when it comes to preparing for home emergencies, such as power outages or other problems. But in our workplace, very few of us are prepared for the unpleasant scenario of a disaster. And that’s just not smart. With a little planning and forethought, we can prepare an emergency supplies kit for our work space that may just get us through an emergency unscathed.
When a natural disaster or other emergency hits, it often gives little warning. I used to work in New York City, and I can recall times when power outages literally shut down the city.
Picture this scenario: You are at work. Suddenly, an unexpected emergency springs up, whether from extreme weather or even a man made emergency. The result?
• An electric power blackout
• No heating or lighting
• Phone systems disrupted
• Water supply interrupted
• Extreme weather conditions
• Private and public transportation shut down
It can happen. And it can happen while you’re at your place of employment.
It is for just such an emergency – unlikely but far from impossible – that you put together a workplace emergency preparedness kit. Here are suggestions for what to include – your actual kit will vary depending on your needs and your situation:
• Phone number and directions to the closest motel or hotel
• A flashlight and some spare batteries
• Extra cell phone charger
• An always-charged “recharge unit” to power your cell phone
• Emergency phone list of family and friends’ phone numbers
• A battery-powered radio
• Small supply of emergency cash
• Some bottled water
• 24 hours worth of freeze-dried or canned food
• A manual can opener
• A blanket
• A sleeping bag (there may not be a nearby hotel)
• Small toiletries kit
• Any essential medications needed over 24 hour period
• A good book and a deck of cards
• Sweatpants and top for overnight
• Last but not least, your sense of humor
If you put together a kit like this, you should be able to store it all in one of those large plastic containers with a tight lid, that you can purchase at an office supplies store. Stash your kit in the corner of a closet somewhere, and replenish the food once a year.
If disaster does hit while you’re at work, your emergency preparedness kit isn’t going to transform your office into a four-star hotel. But it may just get you through a long, miserable night with a little bit of comfort, security, and safety. In an emergency, that’s all we can ask for.
This is a guest post by Neil Street. He is a freelance writer who has written frequently about small business. His last article looked at the complex world of portfolio risk management systems..
Categories: Business Tips