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Improving Disaster Preparedness: What California Employers Can Learn from Other Catastrophes Frances L. Edwards, PhD, CEM Associate Professor, San Jose.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Disaster Preparedness: What California Employers Can Learn from Other Catastrophes Frances L. Edwards, PhD, CEM Associate Professor, San Jose."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Disaster Preparedness: What California Employers Can Learn from Other Catastrophes Frances L. Edwards, PhD, CEM Associate Professor, San Jose State University; Associate Director, Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation

2 Hurdles to Disaster Preparedness 1. Inadequate threat evaluation 1. Inadequate threat evaluation Expecting the cavalry Expecting the cavalry Government is broke – not stockpiling goods for own first responder employees Government is broke – not stockpiling goods for own first responder employees 72 hours for federal response 72 hours for federal response Inadequate number of emergency responders to meet all needs – so focus on most critical that require professional training Inadequate number of emergency responders to meet all needs – so focus on most critical that require professional training Dont understand how rapid onset will be Dont understand how rapid onset will be E.g., earthquake, terrorism E.g., earthquake, terrorism No time to wait for outside direction to save lives No time to wait for outside direction to save lives

3 Hurdles to Disaster Preparedness 2. Lack of resources for response within the workplace 2. Lack of resources for response within the workplace Wont happen during my tenure as CEO/CFO/other, so protect the bottom line profitability Wont happen during my tenure as CEO/CFO/other, so protect the bottom line profitability Cant afford lost productivity time for employee training Cant afford lost productivity time for employee training Cant justify investment of scarce resources in training and equipment that may never be needed Cant justify investment of scarce resources in training and equipment that may never be needed Stockpiles of food, water, medical supplies, sanitation supplies Stockpiles of food, water, medical supplies, sanitation supplies PPE and detector for CBRNE PPE and detector for CBRNE Relying on government, but response will be hours to days Relying on government, but response will be hours to days

4 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Form a partnership with CEO/CFO to view Business Continuity plan as an insurance policy Form a partnership with CEO/CFO to view Business Continuity plan as an insurance policy Not just IT Not just IT Vital records Vital records Employees are key to response and recovery! Employees are key to response and recovery! NO Bus drivers refused to come to work, no busses for evacuation of special needs populations NO Bus drivers refused to come to work, no busses for evacuation of special needs populations

5 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Employees are the Key to your Success Employees are the Key to your Success 50% of NOPD did not show up for work at some point due to family/personal losses 50% of NOPD did not show up for work at some point due to family/personal losses Have an employee and family contact plan when phones dont work Have an employee and family contact plan when phones dont work Buy ad time on a specific radio or TV station both in the normal work/living area and regional coverage, so employees know what station to monitor Buy ad time on a specific radio or TV station both in the normal work/living area and regional coverage, so employees know what station to monitor Organize a HAM network Organize a HAM network Have an out of area 800# for detailed information on alternate work sites, report to work arrangements Have an out of area 800# for detailed information on alternate work sites, report to work arrangements

6 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Family preparedness Family preparedness Home preparedness, reunification 50 NOPD left their posts to care for family 80% of NOPD homeless Memo re: Employee Assistance Programs Website information for employees on anxiety, childrens fears Note TV for Information

7 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Educate employees about safety in the workplace: duck and cover, use of safety systems - e.g. lab cupboard locks, securing furnishings, equipment Educate employees about safety in the workplace: duck and cover, use of safety systems - e.g. lab cupboard locks, securing furnishings, equipment Educate employees about 72 hours of self- preparedness: Car or Desk Kit Educate employees about 72 hours of self- preparedness: Car or Desk Kit

8 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Form a partnership with the employee organizations/unions Form a partnership with the employee organizations/unions Keep them informed of the focus of the effort: employee safety Keep them informed of the focus of the effort: employee safety Reassure them about any changes in working conditions, e.g. having to wear a badge, some positions requiring backgrounding in the future Reassure them about any changes in working conditions, e.g. having to wear a badge, some positions requiring backgrounding in the future Have a pre-made labor agreement for staff to default to vacation if there is no work rather than going to disaster unemployment Have a pre-made labor agreement for staff to default to vacation if there is no work rather than going to disaster unemployment

9 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Use cost/benefit as guide in developing projects Use cost/benefit as guide in developing projects Focus on immediately beneficial actions, like creation of an ERT – day to day medical emergencies as well as disasters Focus on immediately beneficial actions, like creation of an ERT – day to day medical emergencies as well as disasters Consider low cost options like extra bottled water to rotate through an existing system, extra food in the cafeteria that rotates through – one time cost Consider low cost options like extra bottled water to rotate through an existing system, extra food in the cafeteria that rotates through – one time cost

10 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Practical site considerations Practical site considerations Hold evacuation drills-saved lives on 9/11 Hold evacuation drills-saved lives on 9/11 Enhance internal security Enhance internal security Badges/visitor ID Badges/visitor ID Hazardous materials security Hazardous materials security Biological agent security Biological agent security Loading dock confirmation/monitoring Loading dock confirmation/monitoring Remove signs from HVAC intake Remove signs from HVAC intake UPS, generator with rotated fuel storage UPS, generator with rotated fuel storage

11 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Work place violence awareness/disgruntled employee Work place violence awareness/disgruntled employee Dirty Donut Dirty Donut Mail handling Mail handling Suspicious package training Suspicious package training Mail delivery/acceptance procedures Mail delivery/acceptance procedures Employee absenteeism surveillance and reporting to County Health Department Employee absenteeism surveillance and reporting to County Health Department

12 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do Evaluate all safety systems Evaluate all safety systems Update or repair fire alarms, including ADA compliance Update or repair fire alarms, including ADA compliance Lock all external doors except for main public entrances, including all stairway exits at the ground floor level and backdoors Lock all external doors except for main public entrances, including all stairway exits at the ground floor level and backdoors Install a PA or CAN for building notifications to employees Install a PA or CAN for building notifications to employees

13 Businesses with a BCP Weathered Katrina Hibernian Bank Hibernian Bank Had office space and apartments rented with company funds, based on its emergency plan at a location 7 hours from New Orleans Had office space and apartments rented with company funds, based on its emergency plan at a location 7 hours from New Orleans Housing was for employees, their families and their pets Housing was for employees, their families and their pets 107 branches effected, 47 re-opened within a week, 39 more within a month; 21 severely damaged, long-term 107 branches effected, 47 re-opened within a week, 39 more within a month; 21 severely damaged, long-term Wal-Mart Wal-Mart Had 123 damaged stores, reopened 18 within 1 week Had 123 damaged stores, reopened 18 within 1 week Shipped recovery supplies to its stores: mops, buckets, bleach and diapers Shipped recovery supplies to its stores: mops, buckets, bleach and diapers Northrup-Grumman Northrup-Grumman Sent out 3,000 paychecks from their Texas location to their shipyard workers, used Western Union for workers who could not get to their work site Sent out 3,000 paychecks from their Texas location to their shipyard workers, used Western Union for workers who could not get to their work site

14 Speaker Contact Information Frances L. Edwards, M.U.P., Ph.D., CEM Frances L. Edwards, M.U.P., Ph.D., CEM Associate Professor, San Jose State University Associate Professor, San Jose State University Associate Director, Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation Associate Director, Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation One Washington Square, San Jose, One Washington Square, San Jose,

15 Overcoming the Hurdles: What Employers Can Do


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