grid lock, workplace preparedness, disaster on the streets
Grid lock caused by disasters will force you to get home on foot. Keep a get home bag in your trunk for quick access.

The practice of prepping and emergency preparedness centers around the home. Our bugout bags, stockpiles and weapons are all stored at home, but many Americans are working two jobs and spending at least 10 hours a day at work and commuting. If you play the odds, there is a good chance disaster will strike while you are at work. The time has come for you to focus on workplace preparedness.

While you might have checked all the boxes on your lists at home, have you considered the office? There are simple steps that you can take both personally and professional to improve your situation. The good news is: your job is required by law to be prepared for disaster. Sometimes they just need a little nudge.

Lets dive into this tiered approach to what you can achieve by changing personal practices, EDC and working with HR to assure everyone in your workplace is up to speed.

Workplace in Turmoil

Do you remember the term “going postal?” Mass shootings have become a front and center focus for many companies. After events like the shooting in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead and 21 injured, people started paying attention. The topic of active shooter training has, hopefully, become a mainstay at your workplace.

Beyond the active shooters we also face a number of natural disasters. Staff and visitors must react quickly in times of disaster if they are going to be effective. This only comes with the proper training. While you may spend lots of time practicing and planning for your own workplace preparedness response, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

Tier 1: Your EDC and Workplace Preparedness

The concept of EDC or Everyday Carry is to have, on your person, all the things you need to get through your day. These items become part of your daily routine. A basic EDC might look something like this:

  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Laptop
  • Chapstick

Did you know that your EDC can be part of a preparedness system? Those items that you carry everyday should include a powerful flashlight, a knife and maybe even a multitool. In this three-tiered system the purpose of tier one, or your EDC, is to get to your car which, in this system, will contain your Get Home Bag.

Tier 2: The Get Home Bag

While the bugout bag gets all the press your get home bag may be just as important. What good is a well-stocked bugout bag if its hanging by your back door and you are at work? Under the worst circumstances you need resources to get you back home.  The get home bag should have everything you need to make this a reality.

While there are some basics, in terms of contents, every get home bag should be unique to the user. A person who has a 15-minute local commute is going to have a very different bag than someone who commutes 2 hours on the highway. At the heart of the get home bag you should have comfortable clothes and shoes, navigation and maps, ready to eat foods, water, rain gear, cash and some form of self-defense.

The purpose of Tier 2 is in the name. This bag should deliver you safely to your home.

Tier 3: Arriving Home

Upon arriving home from your workplace, you can then initiate whatever plans are necessary. The struggle of getting to your preps and taking next steps should be handled by Tier 1 & 2. At home you have access to more resources and you will be able to make more informed decisions.

If you are looking to carry a preparedness lifestyle into the workplace this three-tiered approach will help you do that. Just remember the simple flow below.

EDC >>> Get Home Bag >>> Safe Arrival Home

Holding HR Accountable

Beyond your own personal workplace preparedness, you can also press Human Resources. OSHA requires that every employer of 10 or more employees have a written Emergency Action Plan. It must be kept in the workplace and it must be available to review by all employees.

Most companies explain this in the onboarding phase of hiring and you rarely hear about it again. Employees must also be trained to assist in safe evacuation of the premises.

Champion the emergency action plan at your workplace or at least remind Human Resources of the stiff fines and penalties they could face if a disaster strikes, and they are not prepared. You will be surprised at the difference you can make if you prioritize workplace preparedness and hold your employer accountable.

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