November 2, 2012
Lessons From Sandy
Yesterday we fielded questions from the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and American Public Media (Marketplace Morning Edition). As always happens after a catastrophe, alternative workplace strategies are on everyone’s mind.
Problem is, during or just after a cataclysm isn’t the time to figure out if your continuity of operations plan works.
Sure, flextime, telework, office sharing, and other alternative workplace strategies will reduce voluntary turnover and absenteeism, they’ll increase employee job satisfaction and productivity. But if you’ve interested in keeping your organization running after a a storm, terrorist attack, or during a pandemic don’t try to put the pieces together in the heat of battle.
Communications is crucial. A pre-established phone chain is a good solution…assuming phones work. Twenty-five percent of the cell phone towers were knocked down by Sandy. For a lot of people, a dead phone and a “No Service” indication replaced even “Can you hear me now.” And if the electricity is off, IM and email aren’t possible either.
Also, consider that when the electricity is off you won’t be able to buy gas, order drugs, or pay with a credit card. In a business cash is king, and that’s true for individuals in an emergency, too. Keep some foldin’ money under your mattress so you can buy life-savings drugs nearby.
You can get a special dispensation for drugs if you’re refill isn’t due, but that’s not much help if their computer is off and you don’t know what you need. If you can get online visit RxResponse.org and you’ll find a map of open pharmacies (and shelters).