As hedge funds, private equity firms and other financial services organizations work diligently to develop and maintain organizational business continuity plans, an item often lost in consideration is employee personal planning. While firms should focus on how their businesses will recover from a disaster scenario or disruption, it’s also helpful to be proactive in addressing how employees can recover from these scenarios if family members/friends are affected or if the employee himself is affected outside of working hours.
Here are a few Personal Emergency Planning Tips for Financial Services Employers:Emergency Kit
Plans and resources are helpful in getting employees more organized, but for hedge funds and private equity firms, finding time to develop and gather these materials can be difficult. It might be easier to have employees gather together and discuss emergency preparedness techniques and why they are important.
Consider providing some resources such as binders or forms where employees can write down contact information of insurances, utility vendors, neighbors, etc. Encourage employees to research local/regional emergency preparedness information as well. Getting the conversation going and providing some resources or relevant websites can better ensure that planning activities happen prior to a disruption.
Alternate locations are not just for the workplace. Employees’ family members and roommates should have established meeting spots if evacuating the residence is necessary. Two locations are recommended: one close to the residence and another perhaps slightly father away (e.g. down the street or at a neighbor’s house or apartment), in the event it’s not safe to be at/near the closer meeting site.
It is always a good idea to have some extra supplies stored away if a situation arises when people need to stay indoors or shelter in place. This should include food (don’t forget pet food), water, medical supplies, and toiletries. (Read: 21 Tips to Prepare Your Investment Firm for a Power Outage)
Suggest to employees that they keep up-to-date contact information stored on electronic devices as well as in hard copy form. They should discuss a communications plan, such as a call tree, to ensure family members and friends are safe during and after an incident. Consider using phone, email, mobile applications, and/or social media to stay in touch. Keep in mind, during large-scale events, calling and texting volumes rise and typically overwhelm dedicated carrier networks, so it may be difficult get a call though to loved ones. Having other options to reach out and communicate can make a big difference when trying to reach your contacts.
Stay informed. If possible, you’ll want to be closely monitoring the given situation to understand potential impacts. This can be done in a variety of ways depending on resources available to you: TV, radio, newspapers, or social media.