Business Owner – Do you employ drivers?


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Where will your driver be when the disaster hits?

Delivering services to homebound seniors

At a meeting last week at the local American Red Cross, we were discussing a new program aimed at preparing the senior community for disaster.

Most of the people in the room represented companies that deliver services to homebound seniors. There were folks from Meals-on-Wheels, SeniorServ, and a whole group of home health care providers.

Home health care staff members drive from home to home to assist their elderly clients. In the case of an earthquake disaster, these drivers will likely be on the road in their car or in the home of a client when the earthquake hits. The drivers will NOT be at their own home, and they will NOT be at their employer’s office.

Homes with few if any resources

These senior clients are people who, by definition, are not self-sufficient. They may be disabled or frail. This means that the driver, caught in the home with the client, will be faced with taking care of the client as well as him or herself.

If the driver is on the road when the earthquake hits, what is her responsibility? To continue on to the client’s home when possible? Return to the office? Or head for home to join the family?

Responsibility of the employer

This situation raises several issues for the employer that need to be addressed through training or investment in appropriate emergency supplies and equipment. Based on the group at the American Red Cross meeting, there was no one correct answer. But everyone agreed that these questions DID deserve consideration, and a positive answer.

1. Do your drivers all have an emergency supplies kit in their vehicle?

2. Does the kit contain enough to share with a client?

3. Are your drivers clear about their responsibility to their clients in the case of an emergency?

4. Do you know how you will communicate with your drivers in an emergency?

5. Do you have a plan for communicating with your clients’ families in an emergency?

Are you an employer with drivers?

What emergency preparations have you made to cover your staff and your customers?  What liability do you feel you carry as the employer?  Please share!

 

 

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