There’s a lot we can learn from the Polar Vortex. Sure you should be investing in a sturdy pair of snow boots, but as an employer, you should also have an emergency plan in place to handle anything that comes your way while keeping you and your team safe. A good plan should consist of various steps that provide a sense of control when things start getting crazy due to bad weather or any other emergencies.

Below are a list of suggestions to include in the safety plan for your business.


Communication is a key part of an effective emergency plan. Whether it means calling employees, emailing them or using social media to let them know the deal, stick to whatever works best for your staff. Once you know how updates will be shared, don’t vary from the original plan in order to avoid any confusion. Pro tip: put your new system through a practice run to knock out any bugs before you’re faced with an actual emergency.

Making the call 

When bad weather is on the horizon or a series of events calls for emergency action, someone needs to decide how the business will continue to run or not run. As an employer, you can either make the call yourself or enlist the help of managers to reach an agreement. Remember, safety should always be an influencing factor in whatever decision you make.

Staying open 

If you do decide to stay open in inclement weather, like this Waffle House in Atlanta, manage the schedule of your employees wisely. Again, safety should be a priority as you consider access your staff has to transportation and what conditions might progress throughout the day. Figure out what accommodations you can make available for employees who brave the storm.

 Write the plan down 

Once you have your plan, make it official by writing it down and making it available for your staff. This will let them know what to expect in the future and provide them with the opportunity to ask any questions. If any changes are made to the plan, make sure to inform employees immediately so they can prepare appropriately.

Having a plan in place can help relieve the stress and uncertainty of an emergency situation.  After coming up with one of your own, it can serve as the calm in any sort of storm.