What a mess.  As we are too often reminded, Mother Nature is a powerful force that oftentimes cannot be reliably predicted and surprises us on occasion.  Snow.  Tornadoes.  Hurricanes.  For employers and employees in Alabama, this past week shines the spotlight on preparedness.  Some common sense steps to take:

  1. The safety of employees should always be number one.  There were a number of deaths and injuries around Alabama attributed to the weather.  Looking back, it may have been safer for employers to keep their places of business open and available for any employees, and maybe others, who should could not make it home safely.
  2. Employers should have a disaster recovery plan.  For those in south Alabama who lost electricity, having a disaster recovery plan makes it easier to get back up and running after losing power for several days.  All employers should have a plan in place to lower the risk of incurring a large amount of expenses and the loss of irretrievable data, computer, paper, etc.  Whether it be snow, ice, lost electricity, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes or other natural/man-made disasters, having a disaster recovery plan just makes sense.
  3. BYOD.  Bring your own devices (smart phones, tablets and laptops) to work is a hot topic in employment law around the country.  If you have such a policy, it may make it easier to close your place of business earlier than others, send employees home, and they have the ability to keep your business operational.
  4. Communication.  Employers should implement a communication plan to keep in touch with employees. Whether via auto text, auto dialing, emails, twitter, social media or a combination of all of these, this is a useful way to keep open the line of communications with your employees.

Practice pointer.  If you are an employer and you don’t already have a disaster recovery plan, NOW is the time to think about implementing one, and getting it done before the next disaster strikes.  Tomorrow may be too late.

And to end on a lighter note:

O.K.,  Northerners, stop criticizing how we handle snow and ice.  It’s rare down here.  Kind of like winning a BCS championship up there.