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firemen fighting a fire; having an emergency preparedness plan is essential to keep your organization safe

Fires and other natural disasters – are you prepared?

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

When it comes to natural disasters, companies with mature safety cultures have robust emergency preparedness plans that are specific to every scenario imaginable. These plans are accompanied by all the resources needed to carry out the action (e.g., training, practice drills, water supply, shelters, power supply).

Although it is a paramount responsibility for organizations to have strong emergency preparedness, it should also be a priority for you to have emergency plans at home. A safety champion understands the boundaries between home and work are extremely blurred — they see the big picture: safety doesn’t have boundaries.

For instance, weather-related injuries and death are tragic and can be preventable. In 2019 for example, there were 545 injuries from tornados, 441 injuries from winter weather, and 239 injuries from high winds (1). When you are making your emergency plans, try to cover every scenario imaginable. (And don’t forget about your pets! Link included below.) Many people think, “it won’t happen to me” or “I will get it together if the situation arises.” Unfortunately, we typically do not function well under pressure and it is a much better idea to plan ahead. It is also important to remember that having a plan is not enough — you must build and strengthen muscle memory by practicing it occasionally and making edits as needed (e.g., if you move, according to seasons).

It is critical to know the risks and make a plan. Please see the following resources:

https://www.ready.gov
https://www.usa.gov/prepare-for-disasters
• https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-en.asp
• https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/index-en.aspx
https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/make-disaster-plan-your-pets
https://www.ready.gov/pets

At Propulo Consulting, we care about the health and wellbeing of all workers. We partner with you to improve the world of work using the latest insights from research. Our team has the expertise to help your business build a safer and healthier culture.

References:

(1) https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/home-and-community/safety-topics/weather-related-deaths-and-injuries/

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