As a full-service staffing company in Central Florida with over 15 years of experience in Polk County labor and workforce management, we at KB Staffing realize just how important emergency preparedness can be for any professional trade. Too often, businesses large and small have gambled that disaster probably would never strike, only to be in the unfortunate position of picking up the pieces after a catastrophe. Like any business, the warehousing industry is not immune to the potential lethal threat of a natural disaster. Remember the destruction in the wake of Hurricane Jeanne? It was a category three storm and the fourth to make landfall during Florida’s hurricane season in 2004. We just recently past the 10-year anniversary of this storm, and so it serves as a good reminder to always be prepared.
Whether you’re a warehousing company that depends on mostly full-time, temp to hire, or contracted workers, you must have a plan in place to recover and get the operation back to full speed as quickly as possible after a natural disaster. Here are some elements that should never be left out of a comprehensive warehousing disaster preparedness plan:
- First, make sure all of your employees are given a detailed protocol on how to exit the building. Provide a specific meeting location so everyone can be accounted for and ensure they are safe. In the event that evacuation is not possible, a shelter-in-place plan should be part of the strategy, and every employee should be trained on the safety precautions. The plan should also include a list of employee emergency contact information, as well as the contact information for the disaster preparedness team.
- One of the next steps in your planning process should be to ensure that your business can still function in some capacity if something were to happen to your existing structure. Getting right back to full functionality— depending on the extent of the damage— would in some cases be out of the question. However, the plan to stay in business should include an alternate location if the primary warehouse is inaccessible.
- Another important element should be a detailed list of critical operations. How could the list be prioritized so that the business can continue to function post-disaster? Included in the business continuity section should be a list of suppliers and contractors, as well as alternative sources.
- Last but not least, a thorough plan would include the process for protecting and backing-up computer hardware and other digital files.
Don’t be left picking up the pieces after a disaster. Make a few important decisions now to secure your business for the future. Remember, KB Staffing is here to offer Human Resources solutions and possesses the knowledge, experience, and skill to successfully manage your organization’s personnel needs— even in the aftermath of a disaster.