Natural disasters are devastating. Unfortunately they can’t be avoided. In the aftermath of a tornado, earthquake or hurricane we often think about the consequences our homes and loved ones will face. However, we shouldn’t forget about the effects a natural disaster will have on the workplace. In the wake of hurricane Irene, it is important to create a plan for our businesses and employees should a natural disaster strike.

Work Together
We all know that no office is perfect. It’s likely that certain employees just don’t mesh. Discussing a plan for preparedness is a time to put office politics aside and work together. At the center of the discussion should be the most efficient way to respond to a natural disaster. Focus on how can your team work together to ensure safety and communication in the office.

Create an Action Plan
A plan, whether it be for an earthquake, tornado or flood, should be developed in order to establish operating and communication procedures. What responsibilities should be delegated to each employee? In terms of a storm, consider creating a committee who will be responsible for insulating the office. Establish a phone or email tree that can be utilized in order to touch base with each other after a disaster. Once a plan is created, make sure to periodically revisit it in order to update procedures. Encourage input and feedback from employees. Work together to create a plan that everyone understands, feels comfortable with and is willing to implement.

Don’t Forget At-Home Employees
Most businesses have employees or independent contractors that work from home or out of the office. Make sure that you don’t forget these people when you are creating your action plan. Contact them with the office’s ideas for a plan and ask for their input. Make sure that reaching out to them is included in your plan. Establishing a plan to promote safety and communication for all of your employees, both in and out of the office, is crucial.

Picking up the pieces after disaster strikes may seem almost impossible. However, after the dust has settled reevaluate your action plan. Ask your team what worked and what didn’t. How could the plan be improved? Take this time to tweak the plan. Make sure that those employees who were affected by the disaster have the help and support they need. Work together to rebuild and regain stability. Reevaluate the action plan to ensure continued preparedness.

Following the string unexpected earthquakes and hurricanes, Preparing your office and employees for a natural disaster is more important than ever. Work together and encourage communication to ensure continued office safety.