As well as having a plan and emergency supplies at home, make sure you’re prepared when you’re at work as well. Keep essential items at work, including sturdy walking shoes, waterproof jacket, torch, snack food and water. Make sure your plans include how you’ll get home in an emergency, remember your usual transport and route may not be available, know where you’ll meet up with your household if you can’t get home, and decide who will pick the kids up if you can’t get to them.
If you’re a business owner, Resilient Organisations has a great guide called Shut Happens (http://www.resorgs.org.nz/Booklets.html) with simple steps that you can take to help your business ‘get thru’, which includes these tips for getting back together:
Do you know how to contact your staff, your suppliers and your key customers if your IT system is down and you cannot get into your office?
Do you have alternative contact information for when landline or mobile networks are down?
Does anyone else in your organisation know where to find this information if you are not there?
Do your staff and their families have a plan for communicating in a crisis?
Just do it! Compile a list; make multiple copies in both electronic (mobile phone, USB stick or in the cloud) and paper format and diary a reminder to check that it is up to date periodically. Talk to your staff about what they, and their families, would require.
Being able to contact each other is a key first step to beginning recovery from a major disaster. How much of those precious first few days following a disaster do you want to have to spend on such simple tasks when you could be getting on with the process of getting back into business.