This NYC Professional Office Organizer is a strong supporter of planning and preparation, and that includes being prepared for a disaster. As I watch the Hurricane Florence news reports, I’m hoping all those in the path of this storm are ready. If you haven’t gotten around to preparing your office, Disaster Preparedness Month is a great time to review your office organizing plans and strategies for a disaster and to make sure that your disaster supply kit is ready to go. Though many of us may already have an emergency kit for our homes, we often forget the importance of having supplies in the workplace. If you spend 33% of your day at the office, there is a definite possibility that an emergency can happen during those hours – preparation is a must.
What types of items should you have in your supply kit? Here are some basic suggestions from Ready.gov and The Red Cross. Depending on your specific business and your geographic location, you may want to include more specific items.
● Water and water purification tablets
● Food (non-perishable products)
● Battery powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio for updates
● Extra batteries for the above items
● First aid kit
● Multi-purpose tools
● Whistle (to signal for help)
● Dust masks for you and staff (to filter contaminated air)
● Moist wipes
Where should you store your office kit?
Store the items in clearly labeled containers so that they can be quickly accessed if needed. Make sure that the storage location is somewhere easily reached, and that your staff knows where it is so the designated staff person can quickly grab it in case of an emergency.
Other items to consider: include maps to your city. With our reliance on technology, many of us quickly turn to Google Maps or Mapquest to figure out how to get to a specific location. If those devices aren’t working, having a map will be helpful. Also, make sure you have a list of phone numbers and emergency contact information for your staff. You’ll want to make sure everyone is okay, and if there are issues, you can contact the appropriate people. Include on that list local emergency numbers such as police, fire, and EMS. Also, have a couple of universal cell phone chargers on hand. If you still have electricity, it will be helpful to keep your phones charged.
Remember to review your kit in June and December – at the same time review your office safety plan with the team. Make sure nothing is missing, check the batteries, food, and first aid items for any expiration or leaking. Review your lists of contact information to make sure they are still accurate.
As always, we hope to never have to use this supply kit, but as always when it comes to office organizing, it’s best to be prepared. If you need more hands–on help with disaster preparedness for your office or office organizing strategies, reach out to this NYC Professional Office Organizer.