Using Mobile Tools to Stay Safe During Hurricanes & Tropical Storms (+ Infographic)

Using Mobile Tools to Stay Safe During Hurricanes & Tropical Storms (+ Infographic)

August and September are peak months for severe hurricanes and tropical storms. These weather events put organizations at risk for property damage, power outages, and facility hazards and can threaten employees’ physical safety and mental health. Here, we discuss hurricanes and tropical storms and how mobile risk management platforms can play a role in successful preparedness and response. We also provide a free infographic, Stay Safe During Hurricanes & Tropical Storms.

Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms are cyclones with wind speeds ranging from 39mph to 74+mph. These storms cost tens of billions per year in flooding damages, property repairs, and economic losses. They can also have significant impacts on business operations for many organizations.

Companies with outdoor work environments or in weather-affected buildings may face unsafe work conditions during storms. This can include strong winds, storm surge flooding, power outages, and facility disruptions. Additionally, employees may face financial strain or mental health concerns due to storm-related home damages or physical injury. This can impact business operations as well as employee attendance and productivity.

Using Mobile Risk Management Platforms for Storm Safety

Mobile risk management platforms such as Vector LiveSafe are a valuable avenue for preventing and addressing hurricane- and tropical storm-related risks and damages. With features like mass notifications, customizable resources, and employee reporting, employers can keep their workforce informed and prepared before, during, and after these events -- all from a cell phone.

Provide Regular Updates

Send storm-related Broadcast messages to employees to provide them with warnings, guidance, and operational updates about hurricanes and tropical storms.

This can include information about incoming weather, alerts about road closures or storm-related damages, and relevant operational updates (ex: remote operations due to a workplace power outage).

Solicit Employee Input

Mobile tip submission functionality makes reporting reliable and intuitive. Employees can easily submit questions or concerns if they have questions or notice facility damages, workplace hazards, or other weather-related concerns.

For example, if an employee experiences a late commute due to storm surge flooding or road closures, they can easily alert organizational leadership to the concern. Employee reports can even be used to prompt further mass notifications; following a road closure report, a Broadcast could inform all other employees to take alternate routes or plan for a longer commute.

Check In with Employees

When When sending mass notifications with platforms like Vector LiveSafe, organizations can choose to add a “Check-In” component that enables employees to respond.

During a storm, these check-in messages can include information about severe weather considerations or guidance and then prompt them to reply, “I am safe” or “I need assistance.”

Send Targeted Messages

Depending on your organizational structure and the storm impacts you are experiencing, it can be helpful to send grouped or geo-targeted messages. For example, if your organization has multiple offices in one city or has employees living in different areas of storm impact, you can provide updates to employees only in that area. Or, if certain team members need to be aware of certain guidance, you can alert them alone (ex: use Broadcasts to inform managers about remote work options with employees).

Provide Accessible Policies & Guidance

Some mobile risk management platforms have a customizable section where organizations can upload relevant resources. These may be URLs or PDFs of local or organization-specific information such as staff directories, workplace policies, health and safety guidance, evacuation plans, and more. In the Vector LiveSafe Mobile App, organizations can also create a custom “card,” or app section, focused on topics like severe weather. This can be customized to include weather-related information, corporate policies, and links to weather data sites.

Storm Safety

Particularly as storms become increasingly frequent and severe, it’s important to have an organizational preparedness and communication plan. Mobile risk management platform functionality makes this easy. With seamless broadcast notifications, reliable employee reporting, and more, preparing and responding to hurricanes and tropical storms has never been easier.

ALEXANDRA BRUNJES

Alexandra Brunjes has a B.S. in Neurobiology from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with minors in Creative Writing and French. She is a published journalist and experienced health and science writer. Her expertise includes risk intelligence, healthcare and neuroscience, and technology.

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