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How to Prepare for a Storm in the Workplace

We’ve talked about preparing your home for a storm and preparing your car for a storm, but what about if a storm hits whilst you’re at work?

You spend most of the day at work, so do you know how to prepare for storm in the workplace?

There will be different requirements to home, as there could be more machinery, more dangerous items, as well as more people in a larger building.

Here’s what we suggest you think about before a storm in the workplace occurs.

1. Can employees leave the workplace?

Depending on the nature of your business, and the severity of the storm in the workplace, you might be able to leave and go to a safer shelter perhaps a basement or a storm cellar.

If you can’t leave, then you’ll want to make sure that you all stay safe in your building.

2. Storm plans

Having storm plans and practicing storm drills regularly like fire drills will be beneficial. If you’ve got a Home Emergency Plan, you can probably adapt it for your workplace too.

Similar to your fire drills, you’ll need to establish where to go, and how you will account for everyone if there’s a storm in the workplace.

Practice will be beneficial, so that you know what works and what doesn’t work. Each time you practice your plan, you’ll want to make improvements, whether it’s equipment, location, or information.

3. Flooding

Depending on the environment and location of your workplace, and the nature of your business, there might be a high risk of flooding too.

You’ll need to establish your plan in case your building floods during a storm

4. Location

Having a city center workplace might mean access to shops, supplies and help if you need it. A more suburban location might be easier to get around.

You’ll need to have contingency plans in case some people are out of the workplace at client meetings or otherwise off site.

5. Transport

You might be able to get home or somewhere safer using traditional transport such as your car, bus or train. However, roads and railways might be gridlocked or unavailable, meaning you can’t leave and get home.

Perhaps you’ll find alternative transport or be able to walk to somewhere safer.

6. Alternative routes

As well as alternative transport, you might be looking at alternative routes home if there’s a storm in the workplace.

It’s a good idea to have a map with you in case your normal route is blocked, or you’re not at your normal workplace, and there’s no cellphone signal.

7. Communication

As power lines and cellphones are likely to be down, you won’t be able to communicate easily if there’s a storm in the workplace.

Perhaps having some two-way radios (walkie talkies) in the workplace, or in your bag will enable you to contact others who might be able to contact home for you.

8. Emergency kits

Whilst you don’t intend to spend the night at work, the weather might have other ideas. You’ll need to make sure that there is food and water, and blankets for all.

Your Home Emergency Kit will be a good start, and perhaps you’ll need to make several changes to ensure that you have everything you’re likely to need if you’re stranded at work.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have additional warm clothes too. You’ll appreciate having extra hoodies, gloves, and socks when it gets cold.

Remember to have some board games and books and other entertainment, as there’ll be no power; you don’t want to be bored if you’re stuck at work.

Think about getting some external batteries so that people can charge their cellphones, tablets and other devices too.

9. Lights and Flashlights

If you work in an office then your office will probably have windows, but a factory or warehouse may not. If there’s no power, there’ll be no lights.

You’ll want a selection of small USB-rechargeable keychain flashlights as well as large search-and-rescue style ones as well as batteries and somewhere to stand or hang them.

Flashlights that tail stand (can stand up) can be used to light up a room. Bigger flashlights might provide more light but will not last as long. Smaller flashlights are more personal and can be used how and where they are needed.

Alternatively, glowsticks are inexpensive and will last for a few hours, and will provide enough light for most indoor emergency situations. Whilst they may be fine for adding a bit of light to a dark room, they are not as bright or able to focus their light as well as a dedicated flashlight.

If you’re tempted to use the flashlight on your phone, remember that it uses a huge amount of your battery, which might not be the best use of your cellphone battery if you don’t know you when you’ll be able to recharge it again.

10. Food and water

Storing some food and water might also be worthwhile if you’re stranded at work during a storm.

A number of simple snacks and candy bars might be all that’s needed to keep you going and raise morale for a few hours until the weather subsides. Dry and tinned foods might last longer, but remember that there might not be any power, and so you might not be able to heat food.

Conclusion

With just a bit of planning, and a few simple and inexpensive purchases, whether you’re an employee or employer you can help prepare for a storm in the workplace.

Need help after a storm in the  workplace? Contact RJI Pro now at 877-ROOF-310 and tell us how we can help you.