Emergency Preparedness Tips for Summertime (or Anytime)

The summer weather in Central Illinois can be unpredictable. One day it’s 102 in the shade. The next evening you’re reaching for that light sweater you packed away in the back of your closet. And we were reminded last fall in Gifford that a weather-related disaster truly can strike our homes and businesses at any time.

Most people have at least some emergency supplies at home, but with as many hours as we spend at work, it’s just as likely that an emergency could occur there. So what can smart businesses do to prepare? These are just a few tips and ideas to consider, but this is certainly not an exhaustive list.


Do you have enough batteries?

I know that around my house, I never realize I’m out of a certain type of battery until I reach for it and it’s not there. Make sure that your place of business has enough batteries to power flashlights, weather radios, and (if you have them) battery-powered generators. ProCell batteries by Duracell are a great, economical, bulk-packaged choice for workplace environments. With a shelf-life of 7 years, buy a couple extra packages now to make sure you’re prepared in the future. Chances are you’ll use them long before they expire. And it’s such a relatively small investment to make to help insure comfort and safety for your co-workers.


Where do you store your important documents or other key items to keep your business running?

By now, you’ve certainly heard of fire-proof filing cabinets to store important documents like insurance policies, deeds, employee information, and fixed asset inventory. But think about some other items that might be important to save in an emergency. Do you have installation disks or software licensing keys to install programs on your machines? Do you have certain information backed up to USB drives? If so, you’ll want a fire proof filing cabinet that’s designed to store digital media (it’s destroyed at a lower temperature than paper files, so that’s why you need special storage designed just for that purpose). If you don’t currently have a fire proof filing cabinet, our friends at Sentry Safe are currently running a great promotion that makes their high-quality file cabinets more affordable than ever. Give us a call and we’d be glad to help you find the right solution for your storage needs.


Are you prepared for a medical emergency?

Paper cuts and the occasional migraine headache are the most common medical conditions that come to mind when thinking of the average day at most workplaces. But are you prepared for a true medical emergency? According to OSHA, in 2001 and 2002 (the most recent data compiled on their site), there were 6,628 workplace fatalities reported. 1,216 from heart attack, 354 from electric shock, and 267 from asphyxia. OSHA believes that up to 60% of these victims might have been saved if automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were immediately available. An AED is an electronic device designed to deliver an electric shock to a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. It’s important to do your own research about the human resource policy and legal implications or requirements of having an AED in your workplace. You can find a summary of state law including Illinois here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/laws-on-cardiac-arrest-and-defibrillators-aeds.aspx. But, whether you’ve made a decision to purchase an AED or something as simple as a first aid kit, Rogards is ready to help.


What could you do to help your community?

Now that you’ve gotten your own business disaster ready, think of ways that you could help others in your community. Could you donate supplies, water, or participate in a blood drive? Would your location be able to serve as a temporary shelter for those who are displaced? That’s the beauty of our local communities – we’re always willing to lend a hand to those in need. There’s an old saying that “charity starts at home.” Make sure you’ve prepared yourself and your business so that you stand ready to help others in their time of need.