September is National Disaster Preparedness Month in the United States. While we live in one of the most secure, wealthy, and advanced nations in the world, disaster can still strike. If you aren’t prepared then Mother Nature can wipe out your future in a matter of moments. There are millions of outside forces you can’t control, but you have the power to prepare for them and minimize their impact on your life and livelihood. When the CDC released it’s zombie apocalypse preparedness plan in 2011 it used pop culture and humor to disseminate some very real advice on surviving natural disasters and possible pandemics. Whether it’s hurricanes or bird flu, your workforce needs to know how to proceed in the event of an emergency and framing it the context of a “zombie survival guide” can make the planning fun and memorable. According to the Ready.gov website there are 4 basic steps for emergency preparedness.
1. Get a Kit– If disaster strikes, you and your employees may not have access to electricity, food, or water for an indefinite period of time. Putting together a kit now can allow you to focus on larger concerns when there is an emergency. Ideally you should have a kit at home, in your vehicle, and in the office. Have your employees brainstorm what supplies they will need if the undead trapped them in their offices. Suggestions for your kit include:
2. Make a Plan – In the event that disaster strikes during the work day, is everyone staying put or trying to get home? This may depend on the type of disaster and you should have several contingency plans in place. For instance, is there a phone tree to alert your employees when power goes out at work? Can they work from home and do they have the tools to do so? If half of your work force comes down with the flu do you have to shut down? Is there an escape route in case of fire or flood? If your town is hit by a tornado or hurricane, is your office fortified and can it be a rallying point? Is your office defensible against the undead, or will you all need to “bug-out”? Once you’ve explored all of these questions make sure that you inform employees and have drills so that panic is kept to a minimum in an actual event.
3. Be Informed – Knowing about predicted weather patterns, locations of local emergency shelters, and evacuations routes can help you move quickly in a disaster. The Emergency Management office will give warnings on several different types of media, make sure you are tuned in. Don’t get caught in traffic trying to escape your city when the zombies come, they call that a fast food drive-thru.
4. Get Involved – Encourage your employees to sign up for first aid certification and life-saving courses. These courses are frequently offered through local YMCA and other community organizations. The Homeland Security office offers the Ready America campaign online and by phone (1-800-BE-READY). Having these skills can be invaluable in an emergency, saving the lives of others. It can also save your life, your coworkers will want to make sure you don’t become zombie food so you can continue to treat their wounds.
A little planning, time, and a small expense now can save a huge amount of money, time, and perhaps your life in the event of a disaster. Everything from a power outage to the complete destruction of your office is manageable if you have a plan. Make the planning fun and get everyone involved, it will go faster and seem like less of a burden. See our Safety Products page for more ideas of products that can help in the event of a disaster. Plus, if zombies really do attack, you’ll be ready.