Are you ready when an emergency strikes at work?

May 18, 2022, 6:00 PM
be ready utah...
FILE -- Candy Whisler hugs her scared dog Athena and grandson Paris Whisler after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake centered in Magna hit on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Photo crefdit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — What do you do if you are at work and an emergency strikes. Are you ready? 

Wade Mathews, of the Utah Division of Emergency Management, told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic what to have at the ready during an emergency at the job.

“Sometimes we forget how much time we spend at the office. I spend more time here than anywhere else, aside from my house. But I have zero resources, zero preparation,” Dave said.

Have these items at work in case of emergency

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Utah was jolted by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake. It hit three miles north of Magna, Utah.

Debbie said she had no coat as she stood outside the KSL Broadcast House in the cold waiting for the all-clear to re-enter the station. She should have had a jacket, as well as walking shoes under her desk in case she needed to walk to find shelter or first aid, Mathews said.

Also, during an earthquake, do not run outside. The California Earthquake Authority advises you to “drop, cover and hold on” while you shelter in place.

It’s important to have bottled water in case the water supply is disrupted or cut off entirely, he said. And have non-perishable food items ready in case employees have to shelter in place for an extended time.

What about your business in an emergency? 

James Ray, the Be Ready Business coordinator, shared these facts:

  • 40% to 60% of businesses disrupted by a disaster without a continuity plan never reopen.
  • Companies that cannot resume operations within 10 days after a disaster’s first impact are not likely to survive.

“How do you get prepared and make sure that your business doesn’t tank after a disruption?” Dave asked.

“It really depends on your employees. Your employees are what keeps it afloat, and if your employees can’t come to work and keep working, then your business will tank,” Ray said.

He added not every workplace has sufficient space for employees to store their emergency preparedness kits under their work desks. 

“Sometimes businesses take the approach of saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to provide an employee emergency-supply cache, here’s where it’s located,’ and they have that discussion with them so they know exactly where to go for the stuff that they need” during an emergency, Ray said.

Businesses should also be prepared for emergencies, and ensure that must-have safety products are onsite, including:

  • first-aid kits,
  • fire extinguishers,
  • crank-powered cellphone chargers and flashlights,
  • equipment such as protective clothing and respiratory protection, and
  • important emergency supplies (water, food, batteries, according to The Society for Human Resources Management.

You can help yourself become prepared for any emergency by visiting Be Ready Utah.

And you can read more KSL NewsRadio articles on preparing for emergencies, here.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Are you ready when an emergency strikes at work?