As Texas and Florida are recovering from the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, most of us have probably thought, “What if that happened to us?” Whether you are in an area often affected by hurricanes, or in another location affected by tornadoes, earthquakes, or blizzards, taking time to prepare in case of a disaster is important. September is National Preparedness Month, so it’s the perfect time to review your office disaster plan and make sure that your staff knows what to do in case of an emergency. If you don’t have a plan in place, then now is the time to take action. Here are office organizing tips from this NYC Professional Office Organizer that you can use while creating and reviewing your office preparedness plan.
Being in communication is of utmost importance. Make it easy and consider using your voicemail system in your office to relay messages to your employees. Designate one specific number that everyone can call for updates in case of an emergency. Consider using a number that is a distance from your location that will still be operational. This may/may not be an option depending on the type of emergency and type of phone system you have. The objective is to create a similar communication plan that is easy for your staff and clients to utilize.
Have an easy to follow communication plan. Create a list of phone numbers, addresses, and emergency contact numbers for your staff and store it in the cloud. Share this with staff members who will be in charge of contacting your team during a disaster.
Get your building prepared as much as you can. If you don’t already have them, install emergency lights that turn on when the power goes out. You can find these at building supply stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. It’s a simple change that can make a world of difference if you find yourself in a disaster situation.
Don’t forget the inside of the building. Reduce the damage on your premises. Take a look at the furniture in your office to make sure that it is stable and sturdy. Bolt tall bookcases to the wall, move large objects to lower shelves, and make sure that mirrors or picture frames are securely attached to the wall.
Keep your electronics safe. Make sure that you are using surge protectors and battery backup systems to keep your computer system protected in case you lose power. Schedule regular backups to the cloud or another offsite locations.
Ask the experts. Check in with your insurance agency and ask about specific precautions they would recommend for disasters that are more likely to happen in your geographical region. Make sure you know what is/isn’t covered in your current policy so that you can purchase additional coverage as needed.
Create a safety team. Designate employees from each shift or from different teams to be part of a safety team. Allow them to be part of the planning process. Designate employees who can be safety coordinators and help make decisions in case of an emergency.
Go back to the basics. Remember being taught about smoke alarms in elementary school? Don’t forget that important lesson now. Regularly inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Schedule time to replace batteries twice a year.
These office organizing tips will help ensure that you have thought about and prepared for many of the possibilities if a disaster was to occur while you were at work. It’s hard to remember what steps you need to take during an emergency, so it’s even more important to take the time now while your office and staff are safe to create a well thought out plan. Need more hands-on tips for office organizing and disaster preparedness? Reach out to this NYC Professional Office