On Friday March 11 people around the world awoke to the news that a massive 8.9 earthquake had taken place off the eastern coastline of Japan, unleashing a massive tsunami and causing buildings to shake as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles from the earthquake’s epicenter. Many of those grappling with this news were employers with employees and their family members traveling to, or living in, cities across Japan.
As with just about everything related to Duty of Care, the key to being able to help travelers in hot spots is having a plan in place that everyone, from senior management to frontline employees, is familiar with, prior to the disaster.
So when the unthinkable happens, like the Japan earthquake and then nuclear disaster, there’s a “playbook” in place that everyone can refer to that helps them make wise, yet swift decisions.
If a crisis occurred and you were unprepared, don’t look at it as a failure. Instead, use this as a learning opportunity for you and your organization, and as a way to figure out what plans you need in place for success the next time around. For example, many organizations learned these two major lessons:
- Disasters happen in developed countries. It’s best to have emergency evacuation plans in place even for relatively “safe” destinations.
- Timely, accurate information is critical. Rumors andmisinformation may be propogated via online and media outlets so it is critical to have reliable sources of information especially for medical-related questions around any disaster.
Duty of Care is a living, growing element of the culture you provide to your employees. Find out how three companies are approaching travel to hot spots and other aspects of Duty of Care by listening to this Webinar: Best Practices in Assessing and Mitigating Your Expatriates’ and Business Travelers’ Health, Safety and Security Risks. Or, check out this briefing from a list of medical experts discussing the issues surrounding the Japan crisis and the aftermath.