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June 22, 2010

It's Hurricane Season - Is Your Workplace Ready?

Hurricane Evacuation Route
June marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Is your business ready?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges businesses, families and communities to take every possible precaution to prepare for hurricanes. And not just in coastal states. Hurricanes frequently produce flooding and other damage in neighboring states, as well.
"Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, and everyone needs to be prepared - not just those folks in hurricane prone states," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

All businesses should prepare evacuation plans and emergency kits, and rehearse emergency evacuation routes. Emergency plans should consider the needs of all employees. If a workplace includes people with a disability, special steps to assist them may be necessary and should be incorporated into all emergency planning. Emergency kits should contain enough supplies to last at least 72 hours.

Area of rescue assistanceThe American Society of Safety engineers (ASSE) recommends companies integrate emergency preparedness into their overall safety management systems:
  • Conduct a vulnerability assessment to determine probability and impact of a loss.
  • Prepare or update a response management plan, including individual responsibilities, internal and external communications and emergency response training.
  • Plan ahead for business recovery from a crisis/disaster.
NFPA 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs establishes a common set of criteria that sets a foundation for disaster management, emergency management and business continuity programs. This is also a good time to consider flood insurance coverage.

Learn more about protecting your business from hurricanes or other natural disasters with these links:

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