CPAs know how to handle a financial crisis, but do you know how to handle the emergencies that arise in the summer months? In South Carolina the weather can turn violent unexpectedly and quickly. Know how to keep your office and your home ready for any weather related disasters that may crop up this season by taking stock of your emergency supplies using this list from ready.gov, and creating an emergency kit that is easily accessible by all inhabitants of the building. The main ingredients for a well-stocked preparedness kit for the office should include (but not be limited to):
- Water (a supply of a gallon per person for three days)
- Food (non perishable ready to eat items, three day supply)
- Battery powered or hand crank radio
- Flashlights, batteries
- Lighter or matches
- First aid kit
- Toilet paper, paper towels
- Utensils and can opener
Once a kit is assembled and in a known location, make sure that all employees are aware of what to do in the event of any kind of hazardous weather situations. Plan where to assemble in case of fire. Know evacuation routes in case of a hurricane or other cause for evacuation. In the event of a tornado warning, make sure all staff knows to go to a windowless part of the building and how to properly assume a curled position with their head and eyes covered. Keep all staff aware of any changes to the emergency plans, and keep a current record of emergency contact information for all employees. Consider sending multiple staff members to become certified in First Aid and CPR. The Red Cross offers a downloadable emergency preparedness checklist on their website .
No one likes to think about extreme natural disasters occurring and ruining their communities and disrupting their daily lives, but in the case of a real problem, knowledge will keep each of your employees calm and level headed while they work together to ensure everyone’s safety. Take the time now to minimize the potential impact later.
Blogger: April Blake, Office & Member Services Coordinator, South Carolina Association of CPAs