Prioritizing Employees Needs After a Natural Disaster

Prioritizing Employees Needs After a Natural Disaster

“Should I find clean drinking water or check my work email?”

Just last year, Hurricane Ian hit Florida with such force and left so much devastation in its wake. 

With catastrophic storm surge, feet of rainfall, extensive flooding, and battering winds that lasted for hours, the monumental storm devastated property and people.

After a natural disaster strikes, just trying to find ways to exist and survive can become a full-time job itself. Natural disasters can leave employees who are directly impacted with a lot of consequences to deal with, including:

  • Injuries, and/or death of friends and family
  • Missing friends, relatives, neighbors
  • Uninhabitable homes
  • Destruction of banks, schools, housing, grocery stores, and gas stations
  • Loss of infrastructure, including buildings, roads, bridges, etc.
  • Interruption of basic utilities, such as water, power, internet, cable, and phone service
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Decreased availability of hotel rooms for temporary housing
  • Extensive property and auto damage
  • Financial uncertainty
  • Insurance claims process to recover and rebuild
  • Dependence on charitable resources for daily living needs

To recover as quickly and safely as possible, they must prioritize their needs and their family above work – at least for a time.

While completely understandable, this can result in impacts to the day-to-day operation of businesses in a number of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Labor shortages – because employees can’t get to work physically and/or can’t connect virtually due to power and internet outages.
  • Communication obstacles – because power stations, cell towers, and fiber optics can be damaged, making it difficult or impossible for employees to call, text, email, or leverage social media to get/respond to messages.
  • Declines in productivity/work performance – due to fewer employees working, extra costs to bring in temporary workers, and general preoccupation in the aftermath of the disaster.
  • Additional stress levels among employees – who are not only worried about family, friends, and co-workers, but who may also be stressed and panicked over where they’re going to live, how they’re going to take care of the family, and, in some cases, how they’re going to pay to rebuild.
  • Disruption of workflow – as teams take time off and mobilize to deliver necessities to severely impacted areas/employees.

What can you do to help affected employees prioritize their needs after a natural disaster?

There are several ways that employers can support impacted employees, physically, financially, and emotionally after a natural disaster strikes. Remind them about benefits that can help them take care of themselves and their families:

Medical benefits you offer, like health insurance, telemedicine, short- and long-term disability policies, and health savings accounts, can provide employees with a way to get, and pay for, medical treatment if they are injured as a result of the disaster.

Financial benefits, such as employee assistance funds, hardship withdrawals from retirement plans, and life insurance can all help hard-hit employees pay to rebuild and recover.

Emotional benefits, particularly those provided through an employee assistance program (EAP), can offer services for mental health counseling for those suffering from shock, grief, PTSD, and uncertainty.


Need more information about how you can effectively balance the needs of your employees with the demands of your business after a natural disaster? Contact us today and learn how we can help.

Comments are closed.

Table of Contents

Recents Post
June Pulse
June 2024 The Pulse Newsletter
Golf cc hospitality state of the market
Hospitality, Golf, and Country Club Market Update
Heat Related webpage
Heat Illness and Workers' Safety Precautions

This document is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. Baldwin Risk Partners, LLC (“BRP”), its affiliates, and subsidiaries do not guarantee that this information is, or can be relied on for, compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. BRP does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, BRP does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss or damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content. Persons requiring advice should always consult an independent adviser.

Baldwin Risk Partners, LLC offers insurance services through one or more of its insurance licensed entities. Each of the entities may be known by one or more of the logos displayed; all insurance commerce is only conducted through BRP insurance licensed entities. This material is not an offer to sell insurance.

Get in contact with an advisor today to see how BKS can support you.