SPRINGFIELD – Recent widespread flooding affected many businesses and their employees in Illinois. While most disasters can’t be prevented, emergency planning can help businesses keep employees safe in the workplace, and home emergency plans can keep those employees safe in their homes.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is highlighting employee preparedness throughout May as part of its 2013 preparedness campaign.
“Businesses that emphasize emergency preparedness both in the workplace and for their employees at home help protect their most important assets, their employees,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “Throughout May, we’re encouraging businesses to take a look at their workplace emergency plans, conduct safety drills and encourage their employees to put together a home emergency supply kit and family communications plan.”
Monken said his agency plans to provide preparedness information and tips to staff throughout May.
Businesses that don’t already have an emergency plan should start by assessing the threats in their area, such as tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes or blizzards. Using that assessment, develop a plan that addresses each threat, taking into consideration time of day and different shifts. It’s also important to include a way to monitor hazardous weather, such as a NOAA weather alert radio, as well as a system for alerting employees of approaching hazards.
Businesses should practice the emergency plan regularly so employees are familiar with the actions to take if a real emergency occurs.
Employers can help employees be better prepared for emergencies at home by providing information on how to assembly a home emergency supply kit and develop a family communications plan, as well as the importance of a weather alert radio in the home. Information on these and other preparedness topics is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.