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Governor Urges Businesses to Keep Workers at Home Monday

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Oct 28, 2012 6:59:00 PM

Governor Deval Patrick this afternoon encouraged private employers in Massachusetts to tell their workers to stay home Monday as potentially devastating winds from Hurricane Sandy push into the region.

Patrick said during a press conference that widespread power outages are expected because of the high winds predicted to whip the state beginning at about 2 a.m. Monday, first on Martha’s Vineyard and then reaching the southeast and northeast coasts before noon.

The governor also said he is directing all schools and state offices to close and non-emergency state workers to stay home. Emergency management officials said coastal communities are being urged to consider voluntary or mandatory evacuations as needed.

Regional shelters are expected to open by 8 p.m. Sunday.

Employers with questions about legal responsibilities during weather emergencies are encouraged to review the blog below.

Topics: Emergency preparedness, Business Center

Massachusetts Outlines Hurricane Preparation Steps for Business

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Sep 2, 2010 2:22:00 PM

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) today issued a list of steps employers should take to prepare for possible damage from Hurricane Earl:

  • Review your property insurance with your insurance agent.
  • Take photographs or make a video of your business establishment, both inside and outside.
  • Determine and establish a written Hurricane Preparedness Plan for your business and its contents. Coordinate this plan with local and state officials.  Specify the conditions under which the plan will be implemented.
  • Test your plan, reviewing it annually. Establish an employee-training program on your Hurricane Plan.
  • Make plans for protection of your computer files, including an off-site back-up system to secure and safely store data.
  • Protect corporate records, keeping duplicates at an alternate location.
  • Well in advance, acquire emergency protective equipment and supplies. Heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, sandbags, emergency generator, chain saw and large pieces of plywood will help protect your property.
  • Bring in display racks and other objects, such as trashcans that might cause damage if airborne.  Remove outdoor signs, especially those that swing or are portable.
  • Move merchandise, equipment or furniture away from windows or skylights. Elevate boxes or equipment, if possible.
  • Turn off electricity and disconnect all electrical appliances and equipment (except for refrigeration equipment), in case there is a power outage.  An ensuing power surge could be damaging to connected equipment.
  • Inform all employees on when and how you will notify them to report back to work.
  • Develop an employee identification system, such as picture ID badges. This may help employees gain access to the area after a hurricane.
  • If possible, make arrangements to pay employees in cash.  It may be several days before banking institutions are operational.

Topics: Emergency preparedness, Employers, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM

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