In an emergency, every second counts- that’s why it’s crucial to have a plan, and why this year’s National Preparedness Month theme is “Prepare Now, Learn How.”
Since its inception in 2004, National Preparedness Month is observed each September in the United States of America. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their businesses, homes and communities.
One of the best ways a business can be prepared is to be self-sufficient following an emergency; that takes pressure off of responders and they can focus on the most critical situations.
- Have a plan with a map of emergency exits and location to go during tornados.
- Communicate your plan to employees’ even seasonal workers.
- Have an emergency kit composed of backup generator, radio, flashlights, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, water and food for at least 72 hours.
- Appoint several people in the office to sign up for alerts so you will be notified of an emergency.
- Learn life-saving skills such as CPR, before you need to use them in an emergency situation.
- Check your insurance policies and coverage needed in your area for severe events such as tornadoes, floods or fire.
- Have several employees attend a class or get involved with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area. The program trains individuals in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.
This month, I encourage everyone from company leadership to employees to take the opportunity to ensure they have or know an emergency response plan at their placement of employment. Emergencies and disasters test the resilience and strength of companies, individuals and communities.