Workplace Communication and Safety During a Hurricane
Why Communication Matters
Businesses can better prepare employees for natural disasters by designing and implementing carefully coordinated communication plans. Clear communication helps keep employees informed and safe during an otherwise chaotic time.
Employees in danger need to know that their safety is a priority for their employer, while employees who are out of harm’s way need to know how their work responsibilities will be impacted.
Sending messages through digital channels is an efficient way to communicate with employees. During Hurricane Harvey, many companies were able to send timely messages through digital channels to communicate with their employees through their mobile devices. These direct communications kept employees informed while navigating the crisis.
Who to Contact
Detailed, timely, and relevant information should be communicated to all affected employees. Messages should change depending on when and to whom the messages are sent. Below are three areas of communication that are critical in order to keep employees safe and informed during a Hurricane:
Communicate with employees in danger
Employers need to communicate that safety comes first. Even when an evacuation is in place, employees need to know that their shifts have been canceled and the workplace is closed. This ensures that employees are acting in the best interest of their personal safety. In addition, employees should be informed of critical information such as emergency numbers and timely crisis instructions.
Communicate with the entire company
Employees in danger are not the only ones affected by natural disasters—their workload shifts to other parts of the business. It is important for employers to communicate with all employees, so they know about any temporary changes to processes and procedures, important customer related communications and temporary changes to their work responsibilities.
Communicate during the aftermath
After a hurricane, life does not always go back to normal and some employees may be more available than others depending on their personal situation. During this time employers should communicate with their staff and provide opportunities for employees with more availability to pick up additional shifts, which in turn, will allow those experiencing trauma to manage their personal crisis.
Timely and accurate communication during a hurricane is key for the safety and wellbeing of those affected. For additional information on how to prepare for a hurricane, visit: www.ready.gov/hurricanes