Hurricane season this year is coming with new challenges for employers due to the global pandemic. Employers need to help prepare their employees for a hurricane and other crises while they’re working at home, and this plan will look different in comparison to your office hurricane preparedness plan. Supporting your employees by sharing general resources for crisis management, mental health recommendations, and home preparedness will all be necessary while your employees are remote.
Hurricane preparedness plan
- Give yourself more time than usual to stock up on supplies. We saw at the beginning of the pandemic that it was hard to find necessary items like non-perishables, toilet paper, water, and pet supplies. Be sure to stock up as early as possible.
- Know where your evacuation location is. Due to COVID-19, your evacuation location and route may have changed. If possible, try to evacuate to a family member’s home and not a shelter to avoid being in contact with too many people.
- Continue to follow health and safety precautions for hurricanes and COVID-19. When you’re dealing with two disasters at once, it may be hard to focus on both. It’s equally important to remain socially distant from others if possible and to wash your hand regularly as it is to evacuate your area when authorities tell you to do so.
These are the types of reminders to share with your team on a regular basis during hurricane season. Although you may not be able to protect them in the event of an emergency, especially while working remotely, it’s important to keep them informed of best practices. Not only are these safety measures imperative to the wellbeing of your employees, but preparing for these crises in advance will help preserve your business continuity amidst the turbulence.
Mental health resources
Mental health resources are always important to have on hand for your employees. However, in the midst of a pandemic with hurricane season also in the mix, it’s even more important to draw attention to these resources now. It was reported in 2012 that after the initial emergency passed of Hurricane Katrina, people had lasting mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Telehealth resources are a great option to share with your employees so they can have the opportunity to speak to a professional in the comfort of their home. Although telehealth isn’t federally equal in terms of coverage or reimbursement compared to in-person, it has seen a surge of usage due to COVID-19, therefore these issues could change quickly. If your health insurance provider doesn’t cover telehealth services, still be sure to share information on how to access these products for your employees that want to utilize them.
If your employees live in a potential hurricane path, it’s important to share resources for them to further protect their homes and their family from potential hurricane damage. Inform your employees of the importance of homeowners insurance to help cover the cost of any damage caused during a natural disaster. You can also share information on the best home warranty companies to give your employees peace of mind knowing that they can get their appliances repaired at any time.
Living in a hurricane zone, your home insurance likely covers damage from natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding. This insurance protects your home and the items inside of it when a disaster hits, natural or otherwise. Damage to the structure of your home, windows, doors, or flooring can add up quickly, so it’s vital to ensure your employees have this insurance coverage. Although home warranties don’t cover natural disasters, it is still worth it to have the annual contract for peace of mind, especially in the months or years after these disasters. Home warranties will cover the cost to repair or replace appliances around your home. For any employees that are first-time home buyers, buying a fixer-upper, or live in a mobile home, both a home warranty and homeowner’s insurance are important to have to protect themselves and their home.
Since disaster can strike at any moment, it’s important that your employees feel supported by their employer for these situations, and the knowledge you share may be vital to their wellbeing. Sharing resources like current news, mental health services, and home preparedness, you will help give your employees peace of mind heading into the next hurricane season!