How prepared for a crisis are your employees?

In late October, flooding, wind damage, and widespread power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy highlighted the need for businesses to have well-thought-out emergency response and recovery plans and ensure that all employees are familiar with those plans.

According to a survey conducted by Travelers last May, however, nearly half (48%) of the 300 small business owners responding do not have a written business continuity plan or disaster recovery document that identifies and mitigates potential threats to their business.

What's more, a recent Staples survey of 412 managers and office workers at businesses with fewer than 50 employees found that even when companies do have an emergency plan in place, many employees are not familiar with it.

Plan? What Plan?

Although the Staples study found that nearly 70% of the 208 managers surveyed say their company has an emergency communication plan, nearly half of the 204 office workers polled are either unsure if a plan exists or say their company doesn't have one. In addition, 50% of office workers report that they participate in safety drills only once every few years or never.

According to the survey, managers were almost 50% more likely than non-managers to be able to locate their company's safety-related supplies. Other findings include:

  • More than 70% of both managers and office workers feel their company is somewhat or very prepared for a fire-related emergency.
  • When it comes to flooding, however, only 50% of employees feel their company is adequately prepared.
  • Although 56% of managers say they are very prepared or somewhat prepared in case of a hazardous material exposure, only 23% of office workers say they would know what to do in that circumstance.

Learn more about emergency preparedness and disaster planning here.