From hurricanes to wildfires and tornadoes—when nature strikes, things can escalate quickly and there’s not always a lot of warning. Get your team organized now to help you communicate effectively, reduce risk, and maximize productivity during storms or other unforeseen events. Here are 5 things you can do now to prepare your team for natural disasters:
1. Gather updated personal contact information for all employees.
When it’s not safe to be at work or when travel to the office is not possible, it is vital that you can communicate critical information to employees. Personal phone numbers and email addresses are more helpful in a crisis since people may not have the ability to check work accounts.
2. Create a plan for internal communication.
Before an actual problem arises, share how you plan to communicate with your team during a natural disaster. Who will key communication come from and how will it be delivered? When and how often will communication occur? Set expectations on how frequently employees can expect text or email updates from leadership and let them know when to look for those messages.
3. Create a plan for external communication.
When you experience a loss of productivity or accessibility, it’s important to communicate your status to clients and customers. Whether it’s setting an explanatory ‘Out of Office’ reply to emails, or recording a standardized voicemail greeting telling callers your office is closed until further notice, it is important to communicate your situation and set expectations with clients—especially those who are not local. If necessary, consider designating a member of your leadership team as an emergency contact in the event of a client crisis.
4. Create a technology checklist.
If you plan to allow employees to work from home in the aftermath of a storm, circulate a checklist to help people remember to take home important things like power cords, headsets, passwords, and USB drives. Maximizing productivity is a lot easier if you have the tools you need to do your job!
5. Locate and safeguard important documents.
Protect important items like new hire paperwork, I-9’s, handwritten notes, and other official and/or original documents. If your office is in an area that is prone to flooding, put these items in a waterproof lock-box and designate someone in HR to take them home temporarily for safekeeping.
Need more ideas or have a specific issue you’d like us to address? Ask us your HR and people management questions via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen. We’d love to talk to you!