How Should Employees Prepare for Hurricane Season?

In just a few short days, the official start of the 2018 hurricane season will be upon us here in Florida, and after last year’s Irma slammed our entire state, people are a little more wary this year as predictions say we could be in for another year of strong storms. Even now we are experiencing much more rain than usual for this time of year, and with Alberto already roaming the waters close to Florida, that means we are all side-eyeing our hurricane prep stash at home and taking a mental note of where our generators are, how much water we have saved up, and trying to map out our route out of town in case things get bad this coming summer. However, as an employee, you don’t only worry about yourself when a storm comes our way. You also have to worry about your job. So how can you prepare for hurricane season at work?

First, saving up your vacation leave when you are approaching summer is always a good idea. Most vacations and fun events take place during the summer, and you will likely want to have some days off for those things. However, keeping a little bit of vacation leave “in your back pocket” could come in handy if we do get another strong storm this season. Just because trees are down on the roads near you, your power is out at home, or your family evacuated, doesn’t necessarily mean the office or warehouse where you work will be shut down, and that means you could be held accountable for not showing up unless you have some leave hours to burn. Keeping a few saved up for emergencies is a great way to prepare ahead for the hurricane season.

Another way to prepare for the upcoming storm season is by having an “alternate route” list for various scenarios. Not only do you want to have a couple of options for you and for your family if evacuation becomes necessary, but you also want to have several different routes mapped out from your home to your workplace. This makes sure you’ll be able to get to work in a timely manner even if certain roads you typically use are shut down following any major storms or flooding. This is a good idea no matter what season we are in, since anything from a car accident to ducks crossing the street could make you late. Having options is never a bad thing when it comes to getting to work.

Finally, it might be a good idea to simply talk to your boss and find out protocol for severe weather in your particular workplace. Some employers don’t want to risk their safety, or the safety of their staff, and will shut down ahead of a storm to give workers (and themselves) time to prepare. Then, they usually evaluate the situation following the bad weather. and determine how many days (if any) will be needed to clean up and recover before notifying employees of when they’re expected back at work. Most business owners here in Florida have been through hurricanes before, and if it isn’t their first rodeo they know what it’s like to live through, and function in, severe conditions. Some employers even open up the office space for private use (AC, charging devices, clean water, etc.) if the workplace is left unaffected by the storms but employees are suffering. It really just depends on the individual company and how the owner/manager chooses to operate in unique circumstances such as those that come with a hurricane.

PHR Staffing Solutions is proud to be rooted here in Central Florida, and with offices in Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Winter Haven we are accustomed to helping employees, and employers, through all kinds of circumstances. We provide staffing services for highly qualified applicants all over the Polk County region, and business owners know they can trust us to fill vacancies in their staff quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Give us a call to get started, and stay safe this storm season!