September is National Preparedness Month – How are you keeping your workforce prepared?

September is National Preparedness Month, the perfect time to take a moment to assess your organization’s emergency preparedness plans.

Both emergency and disaster preparedness go beyond issues of convenience and preparedness should be a year-round priority. Companies can benefit from this month for several reasons:

- September is a time when national attention turns to issues of preparedness.

- This can be a set time on the calendar for creating and updating emergency plans.

- You can take time to reassess trends and reprioritize risk mitigation.

- It is a time to recommit to your worker’s safety and well-being, as well as your business’ lasting legacy.

What Is National Preparedness Month?

Ever since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States Government has increased its focus on educating its citizens on how to stay safe during emergencies. In memory of that tragic day, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security have dubbed September “National Preparedness Month” or NPM. Every September, Americans are encouraged to review their emergency response plans, training, tools, and more to prepare for when disaster strikes. The U.S. Government’s hub for all preparedness info, Ready.gov, curates a theme each year to help rally and focus our preparedness efforts. For 2022, the theme is “A Lasting Legacy.” (ready.gov)

Four steps to proper emergency preparedness

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Determine all threats to your business

The first step of emergency management sets the basis for all of your efforts to follow. By conducting a business threat assessment, you not only recognize the risks your company might face, but you also investigate the probability and impact of those different risks. Once a risk assessment is done, you can then approach planning and preparation according to the highest priorities.

Develop an emergency plan

Now that you have acknowledged potential threats across your business, it is time to create an emergency response plan. This plan should include the potential threats you outlined in your risk assessment and assign roles to appropriate people, so everyone knows who must do what in an emergency. When you put together your plan, consider how each threat may impact your company and people and consider how best to handle it. You may not be able to stop snow from falling or ice from forming on roads, but you can ensure your employees receive emergency alerts, are empowered to work remotely and are made aware of dangerous conditions.

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Create and maintain resource kits

These are the supplies and resources you may need to use at a moment’s notice. Kits should be situation specific, such as for power outages or hurricanes. To make an emergency kit, put yourself in the shoes of the employee during your emergency of choice. What would supplies would you need to stay safe and fulfill your duties? You will need to revise your kits for different threats on a consistent basis. For seasonal emergencies like tornadoes or hurricanes, once a year is a good time for updates, but for recurrent threats such as power outages, it is necessary to revisit your resource kits every few months.

Run drills and exercises

Now that you have a plan and supplies to stay safe in an emergency, it is time to put the plan to the test and uncover any issues. Some of the most broadly employed of all preparedness exercises are fire drills. Through drill, each person has a chance to rehearse their responsibilities without pressure or danger. By doing this, you can pinpoint errors in your plans, and individuals can raise questions.

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Competitive Choice can help you stay prepared
This September, take the time to assess your level of emergency preparedness and the plans you have in place to respond to all threats or disasters. Whether you’re focused on mitigating the effects of natural disasters or managing a now-remote workforce, the right products and tools can make all the difference. Contact Competitive Choice today to learn how we can help you stay prepared.