Fires, floods, earthquakes – oh my! The world is a wonderful place, but Mother Nature is a fearsome beast and there are disasters that happen every day that we cannot always predict or handle. In the workplace, it’s very likely that you have put your staff through health and safety training, but how likely is it that your training has included disasters?
If you live in an area where storms are prevalent, then you likely have a disaster recovery plan in place for your employees. Common disasters always tend to be in the line of electricity failures in the office which can effectively shut the workplace down for a time. This isn’t a true disaster though, as while it will feel like it for your revenue for the day, it’s not going to shut your business down for an extended period of time. Preparing for a true disaster that could devastate your business premises is another issue, so you need these four ways to ensure that your office staff are prepared for a disaster situation.
- Where you can, write a disaster policy for each type of disaster. We mentioned fire, flood and earthquake, but it’s an unfortunate thing that you have to consider terrorist attacks as a disaster, too. Make sure that you share your policies with the office and have them in a visible place for anyone to check at a given time, and make sure you schedule regular fire alarm servicing. This way, in the event of an office fire, you can have a plan in place and everyone can feel ready. Knowledge is power, and if everyone knows how to behave in an emergency, the better off they’ll be.
- Communication in the event of a disaster is paramount, and to minimise risk to life, you need to make sure you can communicate with everyone in the office in the event that cell phone service is compromised. There are online SMS services like these that mean you can notify everyone in the office of issues as they arise. Communication is going to be vital, so make sure you have updated information for everyone who works for you.
- Backing up your IT information, especially for finance, is imperative. If you’re approaching payroll time and you need to get people and bills paid, you cannot manage this if there is a fire and half your equipment is ruined. The cloud is going to be your option here, as you can backup files and access them at any time of day and from anywhere. You must have a plan in place to ensure people still get their salary and vendors still get paid in the event of an emergency.
- Keep office valuables like tablets and laptops in locked, watertight safes overnight. Your office may be mostly chairs and tables, but having IT equipment ruined in the event of a floor is only going to make the situation worse. Your equipment is important, expensive and needs to be protected. Make sure you do!
*This is a contributed post