Serving Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota, Tampa & Orlando
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best…
In the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, naturally, hurricanes are in the forefront of our minds. They are unpredictable natural disasters that affect us physically and emotionally.
As one of the best staffing agencies in Florida, which is a location particularly prone to hurricanes, we offer some things to consider when it comes to hurricanes and the workplace.
Did you know that 40% of small businesses that close due to hurricane damage do not reopen? Don’t let that be you! It is important to start planning early. Do not leave everything for the last minute and follow our recommendations. We hope you find it helpful!
Preparedness & Safety
Prior to the storm’s arrival, it is wise to prepare the workplace the best you can. Use shutters to protect windows and doors from wind, rain, and potential flying debris. Make sure the roof is safe and recently evaluated to avoid leaks. Secure all valuables in case of looting, clear any low-lying branches, and trim back any trees (especially older ones) that could damage the office exterior.
When it comes to hurricanes and the workplace, and you are panicked, it can be hard to remember everything. Make sure your server is backed up and make sure electronics are off the floor and unplugged to avoid water damage in the event of a flood. Have all employees set up out of office messages and an out of office voicemail to let customers or clients know your circumstances. Determine a plan for reopening the office and assessing the conditions. It is the manager’s responsibility to notify employees when it is safe to come back to work. They may want to find a backup location to work after the storm, if the office suffers significant damages.
For more preparedness tips, please check out this website.
Unless there is a mandatory evacuation, an employee can be fired for not showing up to work before, during or after a hurricane. However, it is highly unlikely that employers will not be flexible in a potentially life-threatening situation. Companies do not want a reputation for putting their employees’ safety at risk. In terms of time off, if the office is open, employees might have to use their vacation time or make up days or hours after the storm.
For more information on this, check out the Whistleblower Law, which protects employees against unethical acts by an employer.
There can be a lot of stress involved with hurricanes and the workplace. The news can be a major contributor to post hurricane stress, so you may want to turn it off for a while. It is important to keep things in perspective and focus on all the good things in your life. Donating to a hurricane relief fund can give you a sense of control if you are feeling helpless. You could come together as a team and make a donation on behalf of your company. Most importantly, keep communication open, as it is absolutely vital in an emergency.
For more advice or information regarding our staffing services, please visit our website. We also enjoy being social and connecting with our job seekers and employers, so be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise with you.