Are you prepared for an emergency?

The recent events in Japan have made us all stop and think about what we would do in case of an earthquake or major emergency. Are you prepared for such an emergency? What about your office? Your staff?

My husband was living in Kobe during the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 when approximately 6,434 people lost their lives. His neighbours across the street all perished during the quake when their house collapsed. My husband was one of the lucky ones. He managed to get out of his building alive, but could not live there for the next 3 months, as it was not safe. His only option was to live at his office. And even that wasn’t very easy. There was no water for one month.

When such an emergency happens, we all need to put ourselves in survival mode. Being prepared for an emergency can make a difference.

What has your organization done to equip staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to a disaster in a coordinated, safe and orderly manner? Most government emergency programs recommend that every home and office have enough food, water and essential supplies to last 72 hours.

At McNak, we have emergency supplies with first aid, food, water, flashlights, batteries etc.  We put together this kit a few years ago, and we make it a habit to ensure supplies are adequate.  We thought that we should be prepared because our staff could be stuck at work for a few days if nearby bridges and roads are destroyed.

As individuals, it would be smart to keep a backpack with additional supplies such as comfortable shoes, water, food, first aid kit and cash.

Preparing kits is one thing, but having an emergency evacuation drill with your staff is another. It would be a good idea to have drills with your staff every 6 months or so, and include emergency preparedness information in your onboarding process.

This horrific disaster in Japan has made us all pause, and think about what we would do. Being prepared is our first step. Time for us all to take that step.


photo credit: Suzie T


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