Business Group Blog

Hurricane Season is Here: Employers Brace for a Hard Hit and Prepare to Aid in Recovery

With Hurricane Florence set to slam into the East Coast, large employers are activating emergency preparedness plans and preparing to extend assistance and support to those affected.

NBGH’s Natural Disaster Response: Stepping Up, Giving Back and Leading Forward can help employers respond to events beyond our control. The employer guide includes recommendations from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on what to include in an emergency response plan and tips for communicating with employees before, during and after a natural disaster. It also shares a variety of ways to extend assistance and support to those affected through leave, flexibility, financial aid, housing, food, EAPs and community outreach.

When natural disasters strike, large employers play a large role in aiding relief efforts and providing a needed path back to stability. Here are just a few examples of how businesses let employees know we’re all in this together:

  • Offer affected employees additional leave and relax leave policies, such as requirements to request leave a certain amount of time in advance of use
  • Relax attendance policies, dress codes, rules about children in the office and restrictions on telework or Internet use for personal business
  • Allow employees to telework and offer schedule flexibilities
  • Make payroll deposits a few days in advance of a storm so employees can take out cash
  • Arrange temporary housing or hotels for employees
  • Give employees food, such as catered lunches
  • Distribute basic supplies and materials for clean-up and rebuilding needs, such as mops, mold cleaner, buckets, gloves and water, from your office
  • Distribute supplies for employees who are caring for young children or adult dependents, such as formula and diapers, from your office
  • Provide a 24-hour crisis hotline
  • Communicate available services to support mental health and emotional well-being

Members—Sharing resources, knowledge and experiences improve our ability to prepare for and respond to emergency situations. Natural Disaster Response: Stepping Up, Giving Back and Leading Forward is a living document. Please send any suggestions or employer examples for inclusion by submitting on our Contact Us page.

For additional information, see the resources below: