Hurricane Preparedness and Response with Safety Officer for Workplace

ServiceRocket provides the following information as a courtesy and makes no guarantees or commitments. Please turn to the National Weather Services and your Emergency Action Plan for specifics on how to respond to any weather related emergencies. A summary of the National Weather Service hurricane information can be found at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

In times of emergencies, it is imperative that organizations are able to quickly notify employees of safety threats, coordinate preparations and response, and rapidly track employee safety status.

From the time a threat is detected until it resolved, Safety Officer by ServiceRocket is your company’s best partner in emergency situations such as hurricanes.  Unlike email, automated calls and text messages, Safety Officer provides segmented interactive communication and real-time safety tracking built on the Workplace by Facebook Platform.

The following process outlines how to incorporate Safety Officer into your company’s current Emergency Action Plan.


AWARENESS


Detect
When a hurricane poses a potential threat, the first notification comes from the National Weather Service which issues Hurricane Watches and Warnings; this is the best way to know if your company or offices are likely to be affected by hurricanes and to what degree.

What You Need to Know
When hurricane watches or warnings are in effect, advisories are issued every 3 hours; you can find these updates for hurricanes
www.hurricanes.gov.  Storm information and forecasts specific to your local area can be found from your local Weather Forecast Office (WFO) through www.weather.gov.


Creating an alert in SafetyOfficer
A message from the SafetyOfficer Bot

Communication
In the initial stages of a Hurricane Watch, you want team member to be on alert. Safety Officer’s Broadcast Messages make communicating safety messages to your employees easy and quick and allow you to target specifically those employees affected by the hurricane watch.

What you Need to Know
Creating a simple Broadcast Message with Safety Officer is straightforward.



PREPARATION


Assess

Once a Hurricane Warning is issued by the National Weather Service, it is time to assess what preparations need to be made to secure the safety of people, resources and assets.

What You Need to Know
Good preparation is all about asking good questions. Questions to consider:

  • Do we plan to close our facilities?
  • What level of staffing will we maintain in threatened locations?
  • What services can we provide for our employees?
  • What messages might we need to send to our affected employees at each stage of the emergency?
A sample Broadcast Mesage
Targeted Alert with Yes/No response

Communicate
The goal of communication at this juncture is to focus all affected team members on preparing for the impact of the storm.

What you Need to Know
Based on the specific needs of your company, there are 3 methods of messaging communication that can be employed:

Broadcast Message: Your home office is now under a Hurricane Warning from the National Weather Service. Please follow preparation instructions.
  • Targeted Alert with Yes/No
  • Targeted Alert with Multiple Choice response

ACTION


Enact Emergency Action Plan
Once it is clear that employees/offices are in the direct path of the hurricane, follow guidelines from the National Weather Service and fully enact your Emergency Action Plan to prepare for impact of the storm.

What You Need to Know
Hurricane Emergency Action Plans (EAP) can vary by company, industry and location. There are common elements of every response for safeguarding your most important asset, your employees. Here are just a few examples:
  • Follow your company's EAP as closely as possible
  • Monitor local TV and radio stations for instructions and possible evacuations
  • Ensure evacuation route information has been distributed
  • Board up windows and openings, move any loose items indoors
  • Collect drinking water in appropriate containers
  • Consider the safest places to shelter indoors
A sample Broadcast Mesage
Targeted Alert with Multiple Choice response

Communicate
At this stage of the hurricane emergency it is critical to maintain contact with people still in harm’s way.  The Safety Coordinator sets the tone for people to remain calm and reminds everyone to follow the Emergency Action Plan.

What you Need to Know

  • Broadcast Messages and Targeted Alerts can provide valuable updates and ask critical questions.
  • Targeted Alert with Yes/No response
  • Targeted Alert with Multiple Choice

INCIDENT


Status Check
This is the most critical and dangerous stage of the emergency. The storm has hit and employees have either evacuated or are sheltering in place. Accounting for the safety of each and every team member is paramount.

What You Need to Know
With 1-Click Status Confirmation, people can quickly respond and confirm their safety status.



Assess
Understanding which employees are safe and which are either unsafe or unaccounted for is vital. Safety Coordinators can use this information to focus resources on locating employees who are non-responsive or in need.

What you Need to Know
Once the Status Check has been sent, create an Incident Report for a birds-eye view of employee responses. CSV files of the incident data can be useful for further follow-up by staff, or as a list for first responders.

Communication
At this stage, the goal of communication is to verify safety and collect critical information. Arming Safety Coordinators with a better understanding of the situation enables them to marshal resources where they are most needed.


What You Need to Know

Combining the Status Check with Targeted Alerts is the most efficient way to collect necessary information.


Targeted Alert with Yes/No response example

Do you have concerns about the structural integrity of the place in which you are sheltered?


Targeted Alert with Multiple Choice response example
Are you experiencing any of the following inside your shelter

A) Flooding?
B) Power outage?
C) Water outage?




RETROSPECTIVE


Analysis and Review
To improve responses to future emergency situations, it is important to conduct a thorough analysis and review after an emergency occurs.

What You Need to Know
Use reporting capabilities within Safety Officer to review response times and overall effectiveness of current procedures.

As the saying goes, “If you can measure it, you can improve it". An exported CSV file of the incident data can then be imported in to Excel or any other data analysis tool to help you understand and measure performance.
  • Start with a focus on what went well
  • Identify what needs improvement
  • After identifying what didn't go well, create a list of specific measure can be taken to improve those things and who will do them
  • Agree and incorporate them into your Emergency Action Plan
Every organization is different.  Your geography, organization structure or culture may dictate how you use Safety Officer. Our goal in this document is to provide you with some high-level guidance on how to think about using Safety Officer within the framework of your own environment and your employee safety program.

ServiceRocket offers services that can help you determine the best way for you to use Safety Officer and Workplace in conjunction with your emergency action plan and OSHA guidelines.

If you have any questions about this document or our services please complete the contact form below.