COVID-19: Are you ready for the next normal?

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COVID-19 and Hurricanes—could this be the perfect storm?

As June 1st officially marked the start of Hurricane season, and the first named storms, Arthur, Bertha and Christobal already under our belts, businesses must have hurricane preparedness and return to work plans that also consider the new public enemy number one, COVID-19.

Preparation is the key…

Under the best of circumstances, preparing for a hurricane is challenging. The unpredictability of the path and impacts of the storm can leave businesses feeling anywhere from over-prepared to scrambling for the necessities. Now add COVID-19 into the equation and this hurricane season presents an entirely new set of challenges for the workforce. Loss of power, potential flooding, and building damage could force people into shelters and situations where social distancing is challenged.

In some places, we are beginning to see a shift back to normal. People are returning to the workplace, businesses are opening, and the economy is beginning to rev back up, however; if unprepared, a storm could devastate this progress.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of recommendations for hurricane preparedness during this COVID-19 pandemic for the general public, but what should businesses do to prepare?

  • What happens if and employees are displaced or forced into a shelter where social distancing might not be possible? Should they isolate for a period of time? If so, how long?
  • Should businesses remain closed for a period following a storm to ensure that no employees return to work sick or as carriers of COVID-19?
  • After reopening, will an elevated level of Personal Protective Equipment be required?
  • Should businesses provide COVID-19 screening prior to employees returning to work?
  • The global supply chain is hampered making certain items difficult to find. This will likely be exacerbated by panic buying before a storm. What supplies should businesses have on hand?
  • What type of training, educational or informational materials should employers make available to their employees with to help prevent infection during an evacuation scenario to help ensure businesses will be operational as soon as possible?

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be fluid and evolving, and the deluge of information (and misinformation) is constant and may seem overwhelming. We are here to help you streamline and interpret this information, and to guide you and your business about the best strategies for characterizing risk and reducing exposure in your workplace. Reach out to our experts at solutions@cogencyteam.com.

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