Winter is Upon Us - Prepare your Nonprofit Now - UST
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It’s that time of year again when we can expect to experience some inclement weather conditions across the states. When severe weather interferes with the day-to-day operations of your nonprofit, having a plan in place for unexpected barriers to your workflow can help to keep your organization productive and or reestablish business operations sooner than later if you are forced to shut down.
Severe weather increases the risk of power outages—knocking out heat, power and communication services—and often for extended periods. Many employers find themselves dealing with a number of weather related inconveniences they hadn’t even considered until it happens to them. While there are no federal or state laws that define how a company should handle such things as notifying employees of office closures or how to handle pay for missed workdays, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a priority.
By taking a proactive approach now, you can avoid the headache later—scrambling to figure out what to do and where even to begin. You can start by creating a plan that includes policies for what to do before, during and after emergencies—ensuring that everyone in the organization has a role and understanding of the policies once finalized.
Below are some tips to help ensure your nonprofit and its employees are prepared:
- Outline an emergency communication plan
- Update your evacuation plan and practice it
- Where possible set up remote access to desktops for use during forced office closures
- Sign up for local notifications and updates from the National Weather Service (NWS)
- Understand what disasters could possibly affect your area
- Learn how to help before help arrives
- Create an emergency supply cabinet with first-aid kits and non-perishable food
- Work with other organizations in your community to strengthen preparedness
- Hold a preparedness discussion with your employees to ensure everyone understands the procedures and how to stay informed
Regardless of what weather incident you may experience, having a solid preparedness plan in place will help ensure your employees know what to expect and aid in keeping everyone informed. There are dozens of websites dedicated to helping businesses create successful preparedness plans so just remember—a little preparation now will go a long way should your nonprofit come face-to-face with Mother Nature.