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Emergency Preparedness Essentials
 

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Employee Assistance & Support

When a tragedy affects a business, the impacts could include more than just business disruption and property damage. Employees could be injured. They might be temporarily without have a job. Disasters which affect a community can also damage the employees’ homes or make it so they have to stay with friends or family. The human impact alone could be substantial.

The business preparedness program should include providing support and help for employees. It will also mean communicating and giving employees appropriate support.

Communicating with Employees

After tragedies happen in a community, businesses will find it is in their best interest to communicate with all their employees. Employee information for communication will typically be found in a human resource information system and will include telephone numbers and home addresses. It wouldn’t be inappropriate to ask for more information like email addresses or cell phone numbers (for text messaging and/or SMS.) Additionally, get the name and contact information of a friend or family member who could be reached in an emergency. The information’s confidentiality must be protected and be available only to authorized users who work from their office, alternate business facility, or emergency operations center.

More contact information should be added to the database if the business is using an electronic notification system. Use the electronic notification system or call lists in order to contact employees. Also, identify anyone who needs assistance or is waiting for more instructions from the employer. Have employees contact the call center for official information if you have one. The crisis communications plan needs to include procedures for getting call center operators the official information they’ll need.

Employee Assistance

Employee assistance plans (EAP) are available from some employers. Professionals who deal with the emotional trauma following disasters might have their services included. These services could also be sought out by employers to other community professionals. Seek out mental health providers and public officials to see what employees might have access to.

You must account for all employees as part of your emergency response plan regardless of whether the disaster affected where the employee was traveling or working or whether it happened in the community. Once all employees are accounted for, determine the possible human impacts and then assess the appropriate assistance.

After a significant incident, you might want to open a family assistance center. Or you could simply direct the employees to another assistance center that was opened by FEMA local officials. Both finding and applying for the Federal disaster relief is available to the public online. Employees may need future wage advancements. Help employees access available benefits.
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