When hurricanes crop up and threaten to derail regularly scheduled business, it’s important to take charge of critical tasks and formulate a plan to communicate effectively during the storm. When panic sets in, it’s easy to overlook things that make returning to work less of a headache. Here is a quick hurricane checklist to help your company cover the basics:
Circulate a Phone List
Make sure your phone list is updated with contact information for company’s designated leadership so employees know who to stay in contact with during the storm.
Schedule Check Points
Whether it’s a group text chain or designated check-in calls, establish how and when employees will receive communication regarding your company’s plans for office closings, remote work, etc. This can be everything from allocating certain responsibilities during the storm, to alerting people that roads are safe and the office is re-opened.
Communication & Technology
Ensure employees who can work remotely have the tools they need to do so successfully. Remind employees to take home laptops, chargers, passwords, and any other tools or devices required to work from home. Protect technology and other valuables left behind in the office by moving things to higher ground, away from windows, etc. If you expect disruptions for clients, send out an announcement and ask employees to set “out of office due to weather emergency” messages on phones and emails so people trying to reach you don’t think you are ignoring them.
Protect Important Documents
Thankfully, most things are digital these days, but many of us still store things like certain employee paperwork, records, contracts, reports, tax returns, handwritten notes, and other official documents on site. Encourage employees to take home anything they might need to do their job, and designate someone to ensure important business documents will be sealed in waterproof containers or moved off-site to protect them from wind or flood damage.
Your employees’ safety comes first, so be very clear about who will be returning to the office first to check for damage and make the call when it is safe for everyone to return to work. If you decide to keep the office open, give people the option of taking PTO if they feel the need to evacuate. Don’t make an employee feel ashamed for staying—they need to do what is in their family’s best interest.
Guest Blogger: Kim Kent
Bio: Kim delivers successful outcomes to clients who engage her expertise for a variety of Human Resources projects. Early in her career, she earned her 2-15 license and served as a benefits consultant for mid-market companies. Kim later joined Peoplr where she delivers recruiting, compensation, benefits, HRIS, and talent management services. Originally from North Dakota, Kim fled the snow to earn a Bachelor’s in Communication from the University of North Florida (UNF). In her spare time, she geeks it out at Disney World or with her Star Wars memorabilia collection.