Wow, what a way to bring in National Preparedness Month. It is almost as if someone or some greater being is trying to get us to take notice and get prepared. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the devastation in Houston, the wildfires that are rampant in 8 states and the incoming threat of hurricane Irma to Florida are happening right now! When will our regional disaster strike?
Last week I received a call from a woman that I have known professionally for 20 or more years asking for help with her company. She works for a company that has operations in the Pacific Northwest and also in Texas. She called because she didn't know what she could do to support those employees who earned minimum wages and asked if I could give her some advice. I gave her some tips that I hope were helpful top her. However, this conversation should have happened before the hurricane hit shores. We could have talked about developing crisis communication plans with the employees in the affected areas to call, text or email the Washington office when they reached safety. We could have encouraged those employees to fill up the gas tanks in their vehicles and evacuate. We could have planned with upper management to identify how they will support their employees beforehand. Did I mention that this company does janitorial work, so they would likely be in high demand in the recovery efforts, yet if the employees are struggling to take care of their families they will likely not be available to work. Sadly, we could have done so much more beforehand!
What will it take for you to get PREPARED? How will you ensure that your colleagues are PREPARED? What about your neighbors? Do you know your child's schools plans? Who else depends upon you? What plans do you have in place for preparation, mitigation, response and recovery?
I hope that my fellow neighbors will join me in getting better prepared! If nothing else, take ownership of your family's plans and take the 30-day challenge, we sent out at the end of August. There is no better time than now to get prepared for our next interruption. In the Pacific Northwest we are leaders and known for our innovations, achievements, intelligence and education. Let's be smart about this and get better PREPARED today!
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