By RIck Hjelm, 2012 MBA President
I was recently appointed to a state level government planning group looking to help Puget Sound and Washington State get ready for a catastrophic disaster event such as a major earthquake. Why? Because once the initial critical life saving work is done, homebuilders, remodelers, building suppliers, and other members of our association will become KEY to our community’s recovery and economic stability. Government has recognized that private resources and companies are essential to short, mid, and long-term recovery efforts.
I will be working on the state level along with BIAW and other HBA representatives to help set up communication paths for the government to our membership as well as making sure our members’ need to be able to stay in business following a disaster are well understood and anticipated by government before a disaster occurs.
Is your business ready? Whether or not you are a company that wants to be on the front lines helping rebuild after a disaster, you should have a plan in place to make sure your company can stay operational and that you can keep your employees paid and working. Pierce County has developed a one-page self assessment questionnaire that helps you look at your operations with an eye to staying in business should a disaster strike. Download and complete the questionnaire and discuss it with your staff. Don’t hesitate to contact Economic Development or Emergency Management for more assistance. http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/xml/abtus/ourorg/exec/ecd/documents/DisasterPrepAssessment.pdf
Does your company have a written Emergency Response Plan that includes the following?
A. Goals and objectives for post disaster planning. (How soon will you be up and running again?)
B. Employee roles during an emergency
C. List of personnel trained in first aid and CPR/AED
D. List of essential services/functions critical to business operations such as payroll, suppliers, creditors, accounts receivable and payable
E. Contact numbers of pre-established alternate worksites
F. Procedures for delegating authority should the leader(s) be unable to report to work.
G. Crisis communications system for notifying employees about emergencies (or an ‘800’ call in number); emergency telephone tree
H. Procedures for reporting to work before, during, and after an emergency
I. Employee emergency contact information, including personal cell phone and email address, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts
J. Employee information, specifically for those who are disabled or who may require additional assistance during an emergency
K. Secure and accessible location that stores back-ups of vital records
L. Evacuation procedures: employees, equipment, etc.
M. Shelter in-place or alternate/emergency housing for key employees and their families
N. Procedures for responding to medical emergencies
O. Procedures for responding to both internal and external threats
P. Log of all drills, exercises and training conducted, problems encountered and solutions implemented
Q. Seven day emergency supply kit list
R. Location(s) of emergency supplies and list of employees who are authorized to access them
S. Emergency supply kit inspection log (inspect regularly to avoid expired and missing supplies)
If you answered “no” or “unsure” to several items or would like to discuss Emergency Response Planning, please contact: Hans Kueck at 253.798.2335 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Kristin Tinsley 253.798.3686 email@example.com
. Detailed planning tools are available to Pierce County employers and organizations.