The official theme this year is, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” And it’s an important one for businesses everywhere.
That being the case, September is a great time to educate your employees on what to do in case of various disasters, and how to guard against them. But how do you get them involved? Here are a few tips.
The first thing to do is to e-mail your employees to let them know what’s going on. Tell them that throughout September, you’ll be celebrating National Preparedness Month, and what that means for them. Send them a copy of your official emergency procedures and guidelines and encourage them all to read it thoroughly. Then, keep e-mailing throughout the month with fun tips and tidbits to do with emergency preparedness and how to deal with different disasters.
One way to get your employees involved is to coordinate a series of training sessions for various disasters and other emergencies, how to prepare for them, and what to do when they happen. Maybe hold one per week throughout the month. Tell employees what they need to know and show them what to do in various disaster situations.
Once you’ve held your training session, give out tests to see how much your employees have actually learned, and how prepared they really are. Give the tests at least a day or two after the training, to make sure that the information is really sticking, and have one big test at the end, covering everything your workers have been taught.
For employees who do well, have some sort of reward or incentive. For employees who don’t do as well, be patient and understanding. Try to find some other way to teach them proper preparedness procedures, to make sure they’re ready when disaster strikes.
Your employees aren’t the only ones who need to be prepared when disaster strikes. You need to make sure the plans you have in place to keep your business functioning when disaster strikes remain viable. September is the perfect time to test those plans—and your employees can help.
Hold a fire drill, earthquake drill, or some other type of staged disaster scenario. Let your employees know in advance, but make sure they act as though it’s real the entire time. This means more than just getting out of the building and lining up single file. Everyone should have a specific duty during the disaster, whether it’s ensuring other people’s safety, securing potentially dangerous equipment or materials, contacting someone, etc. Make sure each worker knows what their responsibility is and carries it out.
In the end, the key is understanding why. If you can show your employees why disaster preparedness is so important, and how it affects them individually, then you’ll have a much easier time getting them involved in National Preparedness Month. If you have any questions, contact us at OnSolve, and let us show you how we can enhance your preparedness companywide.