How Prepared are Companies for Disaster?

November 22, 2005 ( - According to the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) 2005 Disaster Preparedness Survey, 85% of organizations have formal disaster preparedness plans in place.

Forty-nine percent of the 314 HR professionals surveyed said they are primarily responsible for forming all disaster preparedness plans, or forming disaster preparedness plans and procedures with equal input from other departments, according to an SHRM press release. The organizations are focusing on crisis response training for employees that include CPR/first aid training, fire suppression, crisis management, and hazardous material containment. Ninety-five percent of employees with crisis management training said they felt comfortable taking a leadership role in the event of a disaster.

SHRM found that 41% of organizations with business continuity plans will be able to sustain essential operations indefinitely, and 25% said that all operations can continue indefinitely. Small and medium organizations were less likely to have a business continuity plan while 80% of large companies have a plan in place in case of an emergency.

Additionally, one-third of HR professionals said their organization has a formal policy in place to assist employees. Large organizations are more likely than small and medium to provide financial assistance. Respondents indicated the following benefits for their workers: employee assistance programs (82%), additional unpaid leave (61%), additional paid leave (35%), and paycheck advance (33%) and leave donations programs (33%).

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