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. This is to relieve them of any economic and physical damages that may occur during the accident. So why not spend as much money, if not more, to protect the workers?
After a major disaster (such as an earthquake, fire, or shooting) the well being of employees is critical for a company to stay afloat. If workers and their families are not safe and healthy after a disaster, they will not be able to come back to work and help sustain the business. For an employee to be able to return to work after a disaster in the workplace, they not only need to survive the initial disaster with little to no injuries, but they also need survival supplies to help them shelter-in-place or evacuate to their residence until they are safe and emergency relief can be provided.
What to Put in an Office Emergency Kit:
Office emergency kits should have the supplies to help employees escape danger and return safely to their homes or shelter-in-place at work until emergency relief has arrived. Each emergency kit should provide for the basic needs of the employee. Water, food, breathing protection, first aid, shelter, communication, light, tools, and sanitation are some of the critical components that can help employees survive from one to three days in transit or in place. These supplies will only cost a business about $5 to $6 per employee a 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.
For search and rescue:
- Leather palmed work gloves
- Safety goggles
- Pry bar
For easier breathing:
- Dust masks
For minor medical situations (for major medical situations, you should have a separate trauma first aid kit):
- First aid kit
- Emergency blankets
For hydration and nutrition:
- Emergency drinking water
- Food bars with several years of shelf life
- Tarp/ground cover
For communication and light:
- Whistle with lanyard
- AM/FM radio with extra batteries
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Light sticks
For Maintaining Proper Hygiene and Sanitation:
- Portable toilet
- Toilet bags
- Deodorizer packets
- Toilet paper rolls
- Vinyl gloves
- Sanitary towelettes
- Hand sanitizer
During extreme disasters, outside help may not be able to arrive for several days. These supplies will help workers to either evacuate home or shelter in place for an extended period of time. However, offices should also be equipped with trauma first aid kits for office first responders to use on any employees who have been severely injured, but are unable to get emergency medical assistance immediately. Being able to keep an injured employee stable until medical professionals arrive on the scene could save their life.
Maintaining Office Continuity
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.
In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of employers that not only provide emergency preparedness kits for their employees at work, but who also provide emergency kits for their employees’ families at home. Making the small investment to prepare employers and their families for a disaster now is the best way for a business to be secure in the future.