How To Prepare For The Next Disaster
There are many types of disasters including threats to health, critical infrastructure, power outages, and weather-related (which vary by region, season, etc.). It seems like disasters are continually dominating the nightly news headlines.
According to Statista Research Department the:
- Costliest wildfire – November 8-25, 2018, the Camp Fire in CA caused insured losses of ~$10.38 billion;
- Costliest earthquake – January 17, 1994, in Los Angeles, CA caused ~$30 billion of damages;
- Costliest hurricane – August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina resulted in ~$125 billion of damages;
- August 25, 2017 – Hurricane Harvey caused substantial electrical outages along Texas’ Gulf Coast when power plants and transmission infrastructure knocked out 10,000+ megawatts of electricity generating capacity;
- And last but not least, as of August 12, 2022, the CDC reported that there were over 1 million coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths.
And did you know that the Red Cross responds to more than 60,000 disasters every year? How can your entire organization be better prepared for the next disaster?
Create Monthly Campaigns
One thing you can do is create a different monthly campaign on the organization’s intranet. Be sure to keep the content fresh and interesting. Not sure what to promote each month to keep the employees engaged? March could be Red Cross Month wherein you offer CPR or other lifesaving skill classes to the employees or host a blood drive or find the nearest mobile bloodmobile bus.
Other well-established campaign weeks/months are:
- May – National Hurricane Preparedness Week
- September – National Preparedness Month
- The 2022 theme is “A Lasting Legacy.” The life you’ve built is worth protecting. Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family.
- The 2021 theme was “Prepare to Protect.” Making a plan to prepare for disasters is the best way to protect your family.
- October – Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- December – National Influenza Vaccination Week
There are several campaigns listed on the Ready.gov Preparedness Calendar and the NWS Awareness and Preparedness Calendar by state.
This will allow you to increase awareness of what to do before, during, and after various disasters.
Also, try to practice whenever practicable. This means taking time to perform exercises and drills such as evacuating your building and safely assembling in the designated area(s). Providing this type of information will make both the organization and the employees more prepared for the next disaster.
3 Main Components Of Disaster Preparedness
Although the topic of disaster preparedness may seem overwhelming, think of it as three main components (including other related articles I’ve written):
1. Having a documented and tested IT Disaster Recovery (DR) plan – technology is typically at the core of the business and touches every department.
2. Having a comprehensive and tested business continuity planning (BCP) plan – each department will identify the unique needs/requirements based on their business impact analysis (BIA).
3. Employee Emergency Preparedness — because employees will want to ensure their own families are safe before coming into the office.
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