Fires in the Amazon, floods in Texas, and hurricanes in the Bahamas are all natural disasters that the world is watching all across the globe. These catastrophic events are no longer the exception but appear to be the norm with every seasonal change.
In some cases, a tornado may simply rip through a small town and split it into two overnight. At night or in broad daylight, any emergency situation can occur so both homes and businesses need to be prepared.
Preparing for an emergency at the office is often similar to the measures that you take in your home. In fact, now that your home is prepared, you need to implement similar actions for emergencies that may occur during work hours. That being said, here are emergency supplies that you will need to keep your employees safe and secure until help arrives.
1. Emergency water
If an emergency occurs in your office, there are some essentials that everyone will need access to. One of the most critical items is fresh bottled water that people can drink to quench their thirst. Therefore, an emergency supply of water should be kept in your emergency supplies.
For example, according to the basic guidelines of FEMA.gov, each employee should have enough water available to consume at least ½ of a gallon (2 quarts) of water per day. A 3-day emergency supply is required for each employee. This water should also be stored in sealed containers in a dry, dark, and cool place.
2. Emergency food
In addition to a fresh updated emergency water supply, your employees will need access to an emergency food supply. The supply that you store must be enough to last for at least three days. This emergency food must be prepared in a specific manner before it is placed in an emergency supply kit.
For instance, the food should not require any cooking (dried food) nor contain ingredients that make anyone thirsty. It must also meet the standards of authorities like the US Coast Guard. Again, emergency food should be sealed in containers and placed in a cool and dry place.
3. Emergency medical supplies
In some emergency situations, employees can be injured or have medical conditions that could require some form of medical aid. Being prepared for certain conditions could be the difference between life and death. Therefore, it is important that you prepare for medical situations that you may be able to foresee.
For instance, if an individual has a weak heart or has been adversely affected by the stress and shock of the situation, the need for an automatic external defibrillator (AED) could be crucial. An automatic external defibrillator is a device that is used for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. It is important that someone in the office is trained to operate it since it requires an AED certification.
4. Emergency radios
Based on the severity of the emergency, it is not uncommon for contact to be cut-off from other parts of the city or town. Mobile phones and computers may not work if they are not connected to a tower that can send the signals. Therefore, you need to be proactive by using an alternative source of communication like an emergency radio.
The emergency radio should have the capability to operate by both battery and solar power. There are also different types and models of emergency radios on the market today so you need to do your research to see which ones are the most reliable.
5. Emergency lights
Flooding, tornadoes, storms and other natural disasters can cause a wide variety of problems, including loss of electricity. When the lights go out, your office workers may be in danger at night from the possibility of a host of issues, including stepping on dangerous debris.
In either case, another big part of preparing for emergency situations is storing emergency lights that employees can use. These emergency lights must be able to work by solar power and by batteries. You can also make sure that you have lots of candles and light sticks in storage too.
6. Emergency shelter supplies
Emergency shelter supplies should be stored away for situations that may cause the office building to be unsafe for anyone to occupy. Even when the weather is harsh on the outside, your plan must include an alternative form of shelter. Therefore, in preparations for these times, you need to make sure your employees have all of the supplies they need.
For instance, you need to store enough thermal blankets, rain gear (i.e. rain ponchos) and other forms of covering to protect everyone from the elements. You can also make a temporary shelter to house everyone (i.e. tube tents, canopy shelter) in while they wait for help to come and these situations to change.