Are you ready if a disaster or other threat appears?

markus-spiske-VO5w2Ida70s-unsplashWhile the majority of employees feel their employer takes disaster preparedness seriously, fewer than half (45 percent) say their company has communicated during the past year what would happen if a natural disaster or weather emergency occurred.

More than a third (35 percent) of employers admit they haven’t taken measures to share their plan for emergency preparedness and response in the workplace.

The findings, from a recently released survey, also suggest a disconnect exists between what employees feel may happen and the workplace emergency action plan their employer has established.

Seventy-five percent of employees, for instance, believe their manager is empowered to make decisions that affect them in the event of a natural disaster or extreme weather.

Less than half (49 percent) of employers, though, say people managers are permitted to decide when and how to respond if disaster strikes without waiting for approval from leadership.

A third of people managers say they’re not authorized to communicate business updates to employees in a weather emergency or natural disaster. Ten percent say they are also not allowed to close a facility, tell employees to go or stay home, re-route workers to a different location, or ask people to come back to work after a disaster.

Workers Want Upfront Information

On average, employees expect employers to communicate with them about three and a half days before a pending weather emergency; more than a third (36 percent) expect at least a 24-hour notice.

Once it’s apparent a work location may be affected by a natural disaster, forty-nine percent of employees think their employer should demonstrate its commitment to employee safety by communicating clear expectations about upcoming work schedules.

The ability to commute to or from work during a weather emergency or natural disaster is employees’ top concern, followed by finding someone to cover for them if they are unable to make it to work. Some also worried about being late or being perceived as unreliable if they had to miss work due to a catastrophic weather or other event.

For more information about how to communicate with employees during a natural disaster or weather incident — and what elements your workplace emergency action plan should address — view this information about the survey, conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated.