Three Emergency PREP Tips for WFH Employees
March 16, 2021
After a long winter season of isolating to slow the spread of COVID-19, paired with record-breaking snow, the spring season is just around the corner. We can expect a halt to our springtime plans with inevitable rain showers that, when coupled with warmer temperatures and melting snow, can quickly result in an increased chance of flooding.
Savvy emergency managers in northeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest states are keenly aware of the damage these floods can cause to property and business continuity. As such, they are working to update their emergency plans for the revised onsite employees in their facilities but this year they are also doing outreach to employees that are working from their homes as well.
Business continuity no longer means just focusing on your facilities; your focus also needs to include your employees’ at-home safety. Consider these recent stats:
- Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 56 percent of U.S. workers have jobs that are at least partially compatible with working remotely and that 35 percent of U.S. workers still are working from home. The firm also estimated that, by the end of this year, more than a quarter of the workforce still will work from home (WFH) multiple days a week
- A Gallup poll found that half of Americans who now work remotely said they want to continue doing so even after restrictions are lifted on businesses. Working from home is a trend that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon
- The Mayo Clinic announced during October 2020, that 1,500 workers would be moving into permanent stay-at-home roles
- Nemours is recruiting triage nurses to WFH and the expansion of telemedicine across the country has opened up a number of nurse practitioner roles in the WFH category. Entire revenue cycle departments and medical coding groups are moving to a WFH model
While your organization isn’t responsible for safety plans for each employee while at home, there are some things to consider to incorporate the well-being of your employees at home in addition to your facilities.
Bring Preparedness to the Forefront
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 48 percent of Americans don’t have emergency supplies such as first-aid kits, chargers for mobile apps, pet food, medications, or crucial documents. Design and deploy a memo to all employees with a focus on those that WFH asking them to be ready at home with a basic disaster kit (many retailers sell ready-made kits). There is no doubt that a few simple items can go a long way in an emergency, and—if you have employees that are spending more time in their homes—they may not be receiving the early warnings that they might while at work.
Give Them Resources
Using the National Weather Service has a preparedness calendar as your guide, learn which emergencies hit your area and when and distribute communications around that calendar. And, create stock communications—or adaptable shells—that can easily be deployed as soon as a particular emergency arises.
Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has an interactive website that gives you access to all of the flood gauges used in forecasting floods and color codes them based on the threat level. Since flooding is a function of other things such as soil moisture, snow pack, rain fall and water flow a website such as this one comes in handy as it is based on actual readings.
If an employee knows they live in a flood zone, point them in the direction of Flood Emergency page for the American Red Cross, which provide clear instructions for flood safety during the pandemic.
PREP with HAPevolve
With the increasingly rapidly changing weather events that can arise during spring, it’s important to keep all of these resources together—kind of like a digital emergency kit. The great news is that, using HAPevolve’s Portable Response Emergency Plan (PREP), you can take your plan out of the three-ring binder and put it at the fingertips of users who need it—no matter where they’re working.
This mobile, web-based, customizable, solution allows you to update your plans in real time, meet regulatory requirements, and ensure that users have the information they need immediately. With PREP, your plan is available to anyone on your staff, anytime and anywhere.
For more information or to schedule a demo, contact me.