Updated November 2021
An office emergency is any situation that disrupts, threatens, shuts down operations, or causes physical and environmental damage to the workplace and its workers. Companies often prepare for emergencies by spending large sums of money on disaster insurance to relieve them of any economic and physical damages during the accident.
So why not spend as much money, if not more, to protect the workers?
As people return to the office, it is crucial to ensure your office emergency kit is up-to-date and ready for anything mother nature throws at you.
Maintaining Office Continuity
During extreme disasters, outside help may not be able to arrive for several days. The supplies in your emergency kit will help workers to either evacuate or shelter in place for an extended period.
Offices should also own a trauma first aid kit for office first responders to treat employees who have been severely injured but cannot get emergency medical assistance immediately.
Keeping an injured employee stable until medical professionals arrive could save their life.
Some businesses may have an emergency response plan that requires certain employees to remain at the facility to maintain critical systems. Having adequate shelter-in-place and emergency supplies is essential to supporting these employees in their duties during a safety protocol.
Maintaining a fully stocked office emergency kit can be the difference between life and death.
What to Put in Your Office Emergency Kit
Office emergency kits should have the supplies necessary to help employees escape danger or shelter-in-place at work until emergency relief has arrived.
Each emergency kit should provide for the basic needs of the employee, including:
- Food and water
- Breathing protection
- First aid
- Hygiene and sanitation
These supplies cost a business about $5 to $6 per employee per year.
Take a look at our office survival kit list to make sure that your office is equipped with all the necessary supplies to survive several days without electricity, food, and water.
Search and Rescue
When a catastrophic event causes severe damage to your building, search and rescue tools can be the difference between life and death for any trapped or crushed employees.
- Leather palmed work gloves
- Safety goggles
- Pry bar
Breathing and Lung Protection
After more than a year of almost constant mask-wearing in some places, we may be tired of them. However, masks help reduce the spread of germs and protect you from potentially dangerous particles in the air. Encourage your employees to hold onto their masks while also supplying them in the workplace in case of an emergency.
- Dust masks
Minor Medical Situations
For major medical situations, you should have a separate trauma first aid kit. Make sure you are practiced in how to assist others with these items in minor medical situations.
- First aid kit
- Emergency blankets
Hydration and Nutrition
If you need shelter in place, you should have enough food available to provide sustenance until your employees can safely leave the building.
- Emergency drinking water
- Food bars with several years of shelf life
Keeping shelter supplies on-site will help if walls or parts of your roof are damaged or destroyed.
- Tarp/ground cover
Light and Communication
Communication is essential in staying safe in an emergency. Your employees need to find one another and get the latest information on their situation with reliable communication supplies.
Hygiene and Sanitation
In an office emergency, bathroom access may not be available – especially in a lockdown situation. Keep hygiene and sanitation items on hand to maintain health and safety in the office until help arrives.
- Portable toilet
- Toilet bags
- Deodorizer packets
- Toilet paper rolls
- Vinyl gloves
- Sanitary towelettes
- Hand sanitizer
In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of employers provide emergency preparedness kits for their employees at work and provide emergency kits for their employees’ families at home.
Making small investments to prepare employers and their families for a disaster now is the best way for a business to be secure in the future.