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Disaster Preparedness and Planning for Business and Industry
All businesses and industries in Madison County are encouraged to have a plan in place at their facilities which addresses employee and customer safety before, during, and after severe weather events and winter storm events. Having a plan in place eliminates confusion as to what actions to take and at what time.
We encourage all businesses and industries to purchase a NOAA Weather Alert Radio, so that they may be aware of when severe weather or winter weather events are imminent.
We have prepared for you sample plans which you may modify for your business. These plans address severe weather events, winter storm events, and special activities (such as employee picnics). Our hope is that you will develop your own plan for your safety, your employees' safety, and the safety of those visiting your facilities.
Business Continuity Of Operations Planning (COOP) Information:
Severe Weather Preparedness Tips for Businesses and Industries
The severe weather preparedness rules developed for individuals and families under Disaster Preparedness and Planning for Individuals and Families can be easily adapted for use in the business and industrial setting.
Winter Storm Preparedness Actions for Businesses and Industries
Most of the information provided under Suggested Winter Storm Safety Rules for individual and family preparedness can be modified for use in the business and industrial setting.
However, there are several other suggestions for businesses and industries in managing Winter Storm events:
Write a Winter Storm Plan for your place of business.
When Winter Storms threaten or are occurring, monitor local radio and television stations for information such as road closings, school closings, other weather information, and other information which pertains to the winter storm event which may be pertinent to your employees' safety. Please encourage your employees to NOT call 911, the Police Department, Emergency Management, or any other response agency for this information. Call 911 or response groups only in case of an emergency. Emergency Management receives road closing and school closing information from the appropriate agency and passes the information immediately to the local news media.
Establish an inclement weather attendance policy for your employees. The policy adopted by the City of Huntsville Administration states that every employee is expected to report to work during inclement weather. Those that cannot make it to work will have their missed days deducted from their accrued vacation time.
Establish a phone bank or emergency phone number that employees can call to receive information as to when they are to report into work, if their shift has been canceled, if they are to report several hours later, etc. This saves the employer time in contacting all the media and the employee time by not having to watch several television stations at once to determine when they are to report to work. Another suggestion is to contact possibly 2 radio stations and one television station to make your emergency announcements for you. Notify employees of which stations to monitor for emergency information. Make sure that all of your employees or a majority of your employees are in the broadcast range of the media you will use.
Determine how transportation of employees will be handled. Will employees get to work the best way they can? Will management establish a transportation coordinator to coordinate rides for all personnel or for essential personnel only? Will transportation be provided by a company leased or owned vehicle?
In case of an extended power outage, make sure you have a generator so that essential company functions can resume uninterrupted.
Severe Weather Planning for Special Events
Every year, businesses and industries plan special events for their employees, such as employee picnics. Our hope is that careful planning for the safety of the employees and their families is considered during this time. Severe weather may occur any time of the year, and it is especially important that plans be prepared in advance, so everyone may know what actions to take during specific circumstances.
Suggestions for Managing with Severe Weather During Special Events
Organize a safety committee for the event well in advance, and write a severe weather safety plan for special events.
Establish your own command post for the event.
Monitor the weather forecast at least the day before and the morning of the event.
If severe weather is imminent, postpone or cancel the event or move the event indoors.
If severe weather is rapidly approaching the area, keep a weather alert radio at the event and designate a person(s) to monitor the situation.
Designate a spokesperson for the committee to make special weather announcements at the event if there is threatening weather moving into the area or in progress.
Prepare pre-scripted announcements to be made at events if notification of severe weather is necessary.
Make sure that a telephone is available (car phone, mobile phone, phone at site of event, etc) in case emergency calls must be made.
Know where to take cover in open, outdoor areas or inside the building if the event is indoors.