Fires to the west, hurricanes to the east, tornados – even freak snowstorms. Late summer, early fall marks a period when many parts of the United States see an increase in natural disasters and extreme weather events. So, it’s only fitting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has named September National Preparedness Month.

In 2017, 59,985 weather-related events resulted in 592 deaths and 4,270 injuries, according to Injury Facts.

Are you ready for the unexpected? Can you keep your workplace safe?

To protect their workforce, employers should assess possible dangers such as the location of trees and powerlines, develop a preparedness plan and assemble an emergency kit. As the leader, it is your job to guide employees through the emergency and then plan for recovery. 

The Plan

To start with, get your emergency plan in place and make sure that all employees are aware of it.

Everyone in your business should know the following:

1.         How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?

2.         Who will communicate directions during the emergency?

3.         What is the evacuation route and where should employees shelter in place?

4.         Where is the emergency preparedness kit? Is it fully equipped with everything that could be needed, including COVID-19 protective and sanitizing supplies?

5.         Who are the point people with emergency training if someone is injured or requires CPR?

The Kit

All workplaces ought to have an emergency kit that is ready to go and easy to access. It should be in a single, easy-to-carry container in case you are evacuated.

Here is a standard emergency kit checklist:

Food – Include enough non-perishable food to sustain you for at least one day. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water such as granola and energy bars, canned juices and ready-to-eat canned or bagged food.

Water – At a minimum, have a gallon of water packed in sturdy, leak-proof plastic containers.

Extra face masks

Cleaning supplies for COVID-19 mitigation

Battery-powered radio

Flashlight with extra batteries

Whistle – to signal for help

Medications – Non-prescription pain relievers, stomach remedies, allergy medication, etc.

First aid supplies – A good first aid kit should have what you need. Here are some of the essentials:

  • (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes
  • (1) 5″ x 9″ sterile dressing
  • (1) conforming roller gauze bandage
  • (2) triangular bandages
  • (2) 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads
  • (2) 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads
  • (1) roll 3″ cohesive bandage
  • (2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • (6) antiseptic wipes
  • (2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves
  • Adhesive tape, 2″ width
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Cold pack
  • Scissors (small, personal)
  • Tweezers
  • CPR breathing barrier
  • Other tools and Supplies

Other Supplies and Tools

  • Emergency blankets
  • Paper plates and cups, plastic utensils
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Duct Tape
  • Wrench/pliers (to turn off utilities)

Every workplace emergency kit should be customized according to your company’s needs and the emergencies that are most likely to happen in your area. When you review the kit with employees, encourage them to consider their individual special needs and the supplies they should always have ready to go (allergy medications, prescription drugs, etc.)

If you would like additional guidance on how to prepare for an emergency and how to recover after, give TSS a call at (877) 225-1431.877) 225-1431