Value of Employees . . . Before and After a Disaster


If you’ve been following this blog for the past several weeks you know that we’re big on coordinating Personal Survival Plans with Business Emergency Planning.

The reasoning is simple . . .

Businesses depend on their Employees and Employees depend on their Employers.

But it’s pretty well known that most small businesses don’t have adequate Emergency Response Plans.  (Only around 67% have any plan at all.)

Small businesses never reopen after a disaster.

The future of your business?

Worse, statistics show that following a catastrophe, half of the businesses affected NEVER re-open their doors!

Why are businesses at such high risk?

  1. Owner attitude.

First is the attitude of some owners that they’d rather just cope with an emergency when it hits rather than make any plans to prevent or mitigate it. (We have to ask, if this is you or your boss, are you really a business person?)

  1. Emotional impact.

A second factor to business survival is that a major emergency has a dual emotional impact on employees.

Beyond their direct experience at the workplace, with damage and possible injuries, is the safety of their family members who may have been affected, too – but are spread out in the community somewhere.

Since communications are likely to be disrupted, employees will want to leave the workplace immediately to check on their loved ones. Once they disappear, the business has little chance of maintaining critical functions.

Improve the odds: integrate personal emergency planning with business survival planning.

Anything the business principals can do to facilitate employees’ family and neighborhood emergency planning will work to the benefit of all concerned.

One way to begin is by making sure that all employees have adequate Personal Family Survival Plans. This includes:

  • Personally-tailored survival kits at home
  • Kits at work and/or in their cars
  • Communication Plans for family members.

Take advantage of holiday timing.

Now might be a way to kick-start this by seizing on the holiday spirit.

Since we do not advocate buying pre-made, one-size-fits-all, survival kits — which typically include a lot of useless (or low quality) items – we strongly recommend that you consider getting them started with an empty backpack like this one from Amazon. It is big enough, but not too big, and has the advantage of opening from the top to give easy access to everything inside.  And if your company gift policy limits employee gifts to a maximum of $25, you’re in luck!  (Click on the image to get full details, price, etc.  Different colors have different prices.)

As a gift, the survival kit meets important criteria.

  1. It’s meaningful.

Every step that an employer can take to help employees prepare their own personal disaster plan will be meaningful for both.

  1. It’s personal.

Some people really like clothing with logos, or parties, but others don’t appreciate those gifts at all! Candy? Cheese? Wine? These all depend on people’s personal tastes.

The survival kit is a backpack waiting to be filled with items that the employee chooses!

How to add value to this gift.

The business can use the survival kit to kick-start a more in-depth discussion of preparedness. Setting up an emergency supplies fair at lunch or after work, for example, can improve the odds of employees actually building their kits.

The business can do even more by adding an item to go into the kit – for example, a flashlight or solar-powered or hand-crank radio. Here’s a link to our updated list of the top 10 survival kit items.

And an additional benefit. . .

If your business is one of the 37% of businesses without any business continuation plan at all, this whole campaign could be the impetus to get a company plan started!

If this idea makes sense, you can head directly to Amazon to take a look. Here’s the link: Fuel Top Loader Cargo Backpack (Black)

And if you want to talk over some ideas of how best to present the backpacks to your employees, or how to speak to your employer about providing them to the workforce — just give us a call.  We have a lot of good experience with “employee gifts” that we will be happy to share!

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. I mean that about the call!





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