Texas depended and took pride on Galveston as the center of their cotton industry and also their largest city, until one of the deadliest calamities in United States’ history literally took it by storm on September 8, 1900. A category 4 hurricane with winds running on a speed of 145 miles per hour, destroyed Galveston, a city always buzzing with people busy with developing it some more, to the extent that they ignored building a seawall for protection. The result was damaged, the likes of which has never been seen before, in those early times, with about 6,000-12,000 casualties, making it the biggest disaster in American history. You may also like return policy templates.
People found themselves housed temporarily in US military tents along with their shores and they began to rebuild houses from the debris. They wasted no time in shipping cotton once again, within weeks. The storm’s origin was never clear since access to technology for tracing it was not possible at the time. Texas has moved on since then and is now a town banking on its coasts for tourism and shipping. The United States, on the other hand, has also been hit by many a raging storm since then, from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Andrew, costing lives and many financial losses. You may also like business policy templates.
With climate change and global warming as two of the biggest issues being tackled for the last ten years in the United Nations and the European Union, with world leaders meeting to set goals for battling and lessening damages caused by natural disasters if it can’t be prevented, it is useless to deny that we live in a time when natural disasters, are well, natural. We have watched Japan, Haiti and Thailand being swallowed by earthquakes and tsunamis. The Philippines being hit by the biggest storm to ever been recorded and the United States having its share of floods and hurricanes that affected society at large, crippling businesses and claiming thousands and thousands of lives. According to the Eastern Kentucky University Department of Safety, security and Emergency Management, natural disasters have already cost the global economy over $2.5 trillion since the year 2000. Hurricane Katrina alone left the Gulf Coast in a trace of destruction, affecting almost 90,000 square miles across the region, stripping hundreds of thousands of people of their properties. New Orleans was practically under water, and the whole process of bringing it back to its old splendor could be several years in the making, with at least $200 billion needed to account for the loss, making Katrina the most expensive natural disaster in recent US history. You may also like business policy templates.
If there’s one thing that the 9.1 magnitude earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 had taught the rest of us thousands of miles away, it’s the idea that even with the greatest advancements in technology, state of the art buildings, skyscrapers and the most modern infrastructures known to man we still are, and will always be, at Mother nature’s mercy. And as our economies are inherently interconnected, we also feel the economic slowdown caused by a calamity from the other side of the world. An earthquake in Japan will also shake up businesses here if that isn’t already obvious. The consequences will be felt around the world and what we suffer is beyond the monetary figures. Individually, we also feel its economic repercussions, and sometimes calamities like that can have an aftermath with financial and emotional scars that take years to heal. Over the years, people have learned to deal with it, and when you own or work a blue or white collar job, you are always expected to deliver, to the extent that you get confused over how the weather forecast will affect your job and your family. Whether it’s the threat of a blizzard bringing two to three feet of snow on your region, a hurricane nearing landfall or a tornado building across the horizon, it is wise for small businesses to put a policy in place that workers can go by, in severe weather conditions.
An inclement weather plan that is clear and easy enough to understand doesn’t really need to be a long document. It would help if it is short and addresses weather concerns as well as other natural calamities properly, serving as the basis for procedures should the employees need one to go by when the weather is harsh. It should also have the standards and company protocols as an important part of the document, and reference for an emergency. A business should always keep in mind that an employee first and foremost is a person. One who could be a husband, wife, daughter or son and their safety is much, much more important than the company’s productivity for the day. Should something happen to an employee while working, on the way home, or on the way to work, the business could face legal charges and deal with consequences on a very personal level, and that’s something you want to avoid if you mean to protect your interests and that of the simple business. When it comes to paying them, if the business has no other choice but closure, there are certain procedures to be followed, depending on the state and labor laws. This would be very helpful, in drafting a policy that would also adhere to the government’s labor regulations.
Some companies sometimes go as far as including a childcare arrangement in the sample agreement when classes are canceled or if the children need to be dismissed early not to get caught in the rain, the storm or a thick blizzard, even when the company remains open. Other times, they just try swapping shifts with other employees if there is no alternate plan available. Communicating with, and setting schedule ahead of a bad weather or an impending natural calamity in the area, from a common platform offers a smooth process for the entire team to follow. People would know what to do, and confusion is avoided. To address the impact of severe weather forecasts on the business, instead of waiting until it happens, is the secret to managing the entire workforce effectively during such conditions. Companies also have to remember that while you have the intention of keeping their employees home and safe with their families, a weak policy also gives them the excuse to bail out on duty with just minor, even petty issues that do not really require them not to work. Eric Athey’s, co-chair of the Labor and Employment Group at the McNees law offices in Pennsylvania, says that “Inclement weather is one of those issues that engenders some strong feelings.” And he’s right.
A natural calamity that endangers the lives of people is enough to make them sensitive, that they would fight tooth and nail to stay with their families, and would often think that it is only just and fair for their employers to support them during such times. Defining an inclement weather to have a proper policy for it, doesn’t have to be littered with technicalities and business jargon. It just needs to be written to suit your employees’ and your business’ needs. Before the harsh weather sets in, it’s ideal to have a well-crafted policy in place for people an organization to follow, and for a company to manage it well. With a focused document that defines the process properly as well as a good understanding on how it is supposed to be communicated to both the workforce and the clients during dismal situations, you will not be left empty-handed even after a very bad storm. You may also see writing a company policy.
One of the biggest problems faced by areas affected by storms, blizzards, and other natural disasters, is a disruption in business. Companies cannot just go and have a “Business As Usual” announcement unless they want angry employees coming to work or even using them for not following labor laws. With communication interruptions, road, infrastructure destruction for some severe calamities happening on a grand scale, it has been common to observe business closure and send employees or make them stay at home until such time it is safe to take to the road again and go to work without danger. An example of this again would be hurricane Katrina ravaging the Gulf coast almost thirteen years ago. Companies struggled to stand again from very catastrophic losses, leaving millions of workers in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana without jobs, leaving part of the region poorer than it already was at the time. You may also like policy word templates.
It isn’t really easy to fathom the extent of economic losses a huge natural disaster can cause. Even though a majority of these disasters affects a specific area’s economy adversely, the impact they can also bring on a wider scale can be even more devastating. It’s true that we hold little to no control over Mother Nature’s next wrath but we can control the impact if we prepare enough for it, financially, physically and emotionally. To understand its economic implications by starting to carry out policies that would protect the business and its people will be a step in the right direction. You may also like simple policy templates.
There is always something more even after you have felt the aftermath of a great calamity. There is always something more than just the headlines of tomorrow’s news, reporting the damages and the unfortunate property loss of people in an area, because like a chain reaction, a natural disaster can have larger, far-reaching implications around the world, more than you can imagine. With the effects of climate change happening faster than we want to admit, it is important for businesses to form robust plans for managing the risks and reducing the potential impact of a natural disaster. And it is important to understand what the impact would be so everybody is better prepared how to deal with it, when and if it happens. And if you are prepared, you will be able to weather the storm. You may also like policy templates in a word.