HR has a role in emergency preparedness

One of HR’s crucial roles is in how it helps the organization deal with emergencies. Any natural disaster can happen at the workplace. Being the organization’s facilitator; HR can be an important aid to the employees in difficulty.

Communicate

HR has the role of communicating to employees at a time of emergency. Whenever there is an indication of an imminent emergency situation, it has to get in touch with the civic authorities and get detailed information about the disaster. It has to then communicate this across the rank and file of the organization. It has to get the exact feel of the situation and how it affects the organization. It has to then communicate this to the organization by telling employees the situation as it is, without creating panic. It is HR’s duty to inform employees that it is doing everything it can to take them to safety. Reassuring words go a long way in comforting panic-stricken employees.

Oversee operations

It is HR’s role to oversee emergency help situations. HR staff has to personally oversee evacuation, where it has to also make sure that help is prioritized. It has to make sure employees such as the physically challenged, the aged and women are given preference during the evacuation.

Provide employees important phone numbers

HR also has to provide important numbers that employees can contact during emergencies. If an employee is concerned about her child, HR has to help by providing emergency numbers of the locality in which the school is situated.

Miscellaneous

There are a lot of other things HR has to do in times such as this. It has to communicate to employees after they have reached home about resumption of work at the premises. It has to also communicate to its clients and vendors about the situation. It also has to communicate if there is going to be a delay in salaries or payments owed to vendors and clients because of the situation. HR has to be on its toes when it comes to emergencies.

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2 thoughts on “HR has a role in emergency preparedness

  1. Great post! HR should be an integral part of business emergency plans and continuity of operations plans as both heavily involve any company’s most important resources – its employees. If your company doesn’t have these plans, start pushing for them. They are in place to protect the company and its employees as well as minimize losses from disaster.

    • Thank you for your nice words, Tim! You have rightly observed that when it comes to emergency handling, it is HR and not Facilities or other departments that need to take the lead. If we already don’t have a contingency plan, we should put one in place. The sooner the better.
      We hope you will find many such resources in the Free Resources section of our website, http://www.trainhr.com/ useful. Please take the time to read up this section!

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