HR Plays Key Role in Preparing Organizations for Disasters, Speaker Says

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By Genevieve Douglas  

CHICAGO--Human resources plays a fundamental part in ensuring company continuity in the wake of a catastrophic event, attorney Jay Kirschbaum, practice leader for Willis Human Capital Practice, said June 17.

Speaking to attendees of the Society for Human Resource Management's Annual Conference & Exhibition, Kirschbaum emphasized that a detailed disaster plan is the key to the employer surviving a natural disaster, terrorist event, influenza pandemic, or other emergency.

Kirschbaum recommended that general planning considerations should include:

  • developing a written plan and assigning responsibilities;
  • communicating that plan to employees in simple and clear language; and
  • training employees with regular drills.

An effective plan will also evolve with the company depending on employer size, location, and employee turnover, Kirschbaum added.

Additionally, the plan should be developed by a disaster recovery team that is made up of key members of senior management, the HR manager, the facilities manager, and other pertinent individuals, he said.