Hurricane Irma may have caught many employers and businesses off-guard and scrabbling to prime their systems, infrastructure, and building for the anticipated impact of Irma.
Employers may have been unfamiliar with how to safeguard their employees, as well as disorganized in their transmitting of vital communications to both employees and customers. Unfamiliar questions caused employers concern: “How do I communicate to my customers? Do I compensate employees for “hurricane” days? How do I communicate to customers and employees if systems are down?”

Hurricane Irma

Certainly, natural disasters cause communities, families, households, and companies alarm, but it is better to be prepared than panicked. In light of the recent hurricane that passed through Central Florida, including Orlando, where Web Benefits Design’s home office resides, Web Benefits Design would like to offer our clients, colleagues, and employers some helpful tips on how to prepare employees for emergency situations and natural events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

While it is difficult to predict when emergency and natural disaster situations will occur, preparation is always able to be accomplished, which is why it is critical that employers have a disaster preparedness and recovery policy established and frequently update it as needed.  Here are a few simple “how to” tips for employers. 
Disaster Recovery Policy
What should your disaster preparedness and recovery policy include? 

• Safety precautions and procedures
• An employee time-off policy
• Employee communications
• A business operations policy
• Client/customer communications
• Office and technology recovery procedures

In order to maintain an effective disaster preparedness and recovery policy, Human Resources must include it in new hire onboarding communications and training, as well as perform bi-yearly employee communications reminding of the policy and making them aware of any updates.

HR are able to perform bulk employee emails directly from Web Benefits Design’s robust benefits administration system, as well as attach documents such as company policies, SOPs, plan summaries, and more.

To ensure employees are aware of their benefits, especially prior to an emergency or natural disaster situation, HR must communicate to employees to review their benefits. Web Benefits Design’s employee benefits websites contain employers’ benefits plans and summaries, and can be customized to post unique targeted messages, such as preparation tips, open enrollment dates, and other updates. In addition, employees can log into their online enrollment/self-service interface and access their benefit confirmation statement (BCS).

Web Benefits Design also offers custom print communications, such as Benefits Guides and benefits ID cards—these are critical for employees to have in case of an emergency.

In addition, Web Benefits Design offers a Call Center for client and employee support. Often, especially in times of stress, employees feel more comfortable speaking to a benefits expert about their benefits and coverage, or to gain a benefits confirmation.   

To learn more about the functionality of Web Benefits Design’s benefits administration system and how it can automate and facilitate your employee benefits enrollment, carrier data exchange, and communications, call us at  (877) 785-9360.

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