Natural calamities are always going to be part of the average Filipino’s life. According to UNICEF, that’s because the country lies along the Pacific Typhoon Belt and is also within the Pacific Ring of Fire. This means storms are always going to happen while earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are real possibilities.
Despite what seems like a grim situation, many companies continue to thrive in the country. There are certain things you can anticipate and prepare for so that if the need arises, you have strategies you can implement. Consider these numbers first.
As you can see from our infographic, storms and floods are more or less going to be a frequent occurrence. As such, Philippine companies should be prepared by doing the following:
Storm Prep #1: Adopt work-from-home schemes
During typhoon season, employees will have a hard time getting to and from the office. By allowing them to work from home when the weather is preventing them from going to the office, you keep your employees safe while ensuring they’re still productive.
Storm Prep #2: Keep digital copies of pertinent documents
This is a must especially if your office is at ground level and located in a flood prone area. This ensures that should the inevitable happen, you’ll still have copies of important company documents. Of course, stash it in a hard drive that’s always kept away from flood waters, or better yet, invest in cloud storage to be truly safe.
Storm Prep #3: Have a “stormed-in” strategy
Should a heavy storm hit when most of your employees have already reported to work, make sure that: 1.) There’s adequate drinking water within the premises; 2.) There’s a heavy-duty, battery-powered transistor radio on hand to monitor weather reports, PLUS flashlights in case of power outage; 3.) There are items you can use to cover up windows when the rains start getting more extreme; and 4.) Your office building has inflatable boats and life jackets available, should there be a need to evacuate in flooded waters.
Fires are also a disaster you should prepare for. Make sure your company employs the following tactics:
Fire Prep #1: Make sure all fire extinguishers and hoses work
Periodically check fire hoses and extinguishers. Oh, and educate your employees how to use these, too.
Fire Prep #2: Have a fire evacuation strategy
Fire drills are done for a reason. They allow you to check if your fire exits are operational and let employees know where they should go in case of destructive fire.
Earthquakes are a possibility, especially if your office lies in a fault line. In any case be prepared by doing these:
Earthquake Prep #1: Check if your office is at risk
Does your office lie in the greater Metro Manila fault line? Find out by checking the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council website.
Earthquake Prep #2: Have an earthquake evacuation strategy
Protocols have been updated since the classic earthquake drills we all learned in school. Plus, as in the fire strategies above, it’s important that employees know where they need to go to evacuate and how to avoid falling debris safely.
Additional Prep: Review your insurance coverage
Sure, you may have insurance, but does it have acts of god coverage? While it may cost extra, this vital add-on ensures that you’ll be able to claim for the damage from flood, fire, and earthquakes. Also, make sure that your insurance plan allows you claim damages should your operations need to be halted.