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Emergency Response: Preparing A Business For Any Disaster
Matthew Brosius

Emergency Response: Preparing A Business For Any Disaster

When disaster strikes, businesses need a backup plan for how to care for employees and assist local authorities in responding to epidemic or pandemic situations. There are a number of emergency response products to help organizations isolate, test and treat infected or injured employees and members of the public.

If you would like to become part of the solution, this article shows which products make sense for your business or medical institution. 

Helping Your Employees Through Tough Times

Hurricanes, storms, fires and terrorist acts can cause your community to shut down. If you want to help emergency response teams dealing with the situation, consider donating your building for triage and medical containment purposes.

You may also want to consider how you will quarantine employees that are symptomatic for COVID-19 until first responders arrive. Emergency response containment cubes provide privacy and isolation for victims of trauma, illness or injury related to a natural or man-made disaster such as an epidemic or pandemic. 

Donating Space in Your Building

Along with ensuring your employees are familiar with your emergency response policy, you can arrange for the use of your property during a catastrophe. Contact the agency in charge to offer space as a shelter or to distribute supplies. Before disaster strikes, assign an HR person to coordinate the aid efforts with local authorities.

Consider color-coded triage shelter kits that come with their own carrying case for easy deployment. Organizers can use the different colors to separate patients by severity or to indicate where victims can receive emergency supplies. (These shelter kits can be repurposed for corporate events.)

Shelter In Place

If your business is open when disaster hits, you may need a plan to shelter employees in place. There are several things you can do to prepare your employees during an emergency or disaster, including:

  • Have an official policy on where employees should gather for instructions in the event of an emergency.
  • Consider investing in emergency supplies such as water, blankets and medical supplies. Use color-coded triage kits to separate supply pickup and organize the flow of employees seeking assistance.
  • Some disasters, such as a chemical spill, may prevent your employees from leaving the building for an extended period. Power bars and other food items you can store for a long time can help employees get through the situation. These can be donated to local food banks and replenished periodically.

Coordinate with local fire and police departments and contact your regional FEMA representatives for additional ideas on how to care for employees stuck at work or to help disaster victims in your area.

For example, you can set up mobile privacy shelters to assist employees in distress or seeking medical care. Many businesses have opened their doors to mobile testing for COVID-19. Mobile privacy shelters come in varying sizes, some of which can accommodate vehicles. These shelters protect testers and the public from the weather.

Keeping Your Public Safe 

Local government and medical crews sometimes have only minutes or hours to respond to a crisis. As part of your organization's emergency response strategy, consider products that can facilitate the organization of efforts during a disaster. 

The Centers for Disease Control suggests that community coalitions identify temporary shelter sites to coordinate staffing, services and supplies. You may also need to provide shelter for the most vulnerable victims, such as homeless and transient populations. 

Per the CDC guidelines, include the following in your response plan: 

  • When designated shelters fill up, identity overflow sites to increase capacity;
  • Isolation sites such as mobile privacy shelters for those testing positive for COVID-19 or another epidemic/pandemic condition;
  • Quarantine sites for people waiting to be tested including tents that accommodate vehicle traffic; and
  • Protective housing for confirmed cases with the highest risk of severe symptoms.

For optimal conditions, mobile testing facilities should separate patients with severe symptoms while they wait for transport to hospitals and other medical facilities. Containment cubes make this possible and accommodate the need for patient separation and medical assistance. The temperature controlled environment reduces the chance of cross-contamination. Additionally, mobile containment cubes work well as overflow cubes in hospitals and medical clinics as well. 

Offering Convenient and Safe Options

Fabric buildings and portable tents are in high demand when there's an epidemic or pandemic, such as the flu or COVID-19. When the need arises, these structures can be quickly assembled and easily anchored to a variety of outdoor spaces.

Tentcraft manufactures various fabric buildings and portable tents that can be used for screening purposes. Many of those could be used in the medical field as a medical screening tent, containment tent, surge tent, and triage tent.

Hospitals and large businesses can use fabric temporary buildings for a variety of purposes during a triage, natural disaster or pandemic situation.

Here are just a few examples of how large frame tents with or without plastic windows can facilitate testing or patient treatment in an emergency:

  • Check-in Areas: Use enclosed tents and temporary buildings as check-in areas for emergency room patients. Initial screenings can help officials determine where to send each patient.
  • Overflow Waiting Room Space: Surge tents can serve as a waiting area when a large number of people seek help at once. Containment tents reinforce social distancing and help avoid spreading illness.
  • Triage Staging Areas: These tents and buildings can also be used as staging areas where triage personnel can assemble and wait for necessary information. Also, they can be used to store whatever medical equipment and supplies will be needed at a moment's notice.
  • Patient Isolation Areas: Fabric containment buildings can isolate those with an infectious disease from those who are uninfected. Infection control mobile panels can help protect individual patients from those next to them.

Containment tents, triage shelter kits and mobile privacy shelters are just some of the products you can use to convert your business building or overflow site into a safe testing site or treatment center. Provide the protection your employees deserve and assist medical professionals and first responders in a disaster with products designed for the job.

For help ensuring that your business is ready for anything contact Connecting Elements today. We have offices in both North Carolina and South Carolina.




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