When a natural disaster hits, it can devastate homes, properties, cities, and lives. Businesses also take a huge hit when their employees and operations are affected by these events. Although we can’t prevent hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires from happening, employers can be ready for the fallout with a workforce readiness plan. Mercer surveyed 84 organizations around the world to find out who has workforce readiness plans, who followed them when disasters struck, and which events are more likely to compel employers to take action in the infographic below.
Although it seems that the frequency of significant natural disasters has been on the rise in recent years, only 77% of businesses surveyed had a specific plan to address disaster workforce issues, which is only an increase of 5% since last year. Thankfully, only 43% of the companies with workforce readiness plans needed to activate them in 2012, 72% of which did so in response to Hurricane Sandy. Of those who did activate their plans, only 31% followed them completely, the remainder following them loosely or not at all. Employers are most likely to take action when a disaster causes damage to city infrastructure, office infrastructure, loss of life, and/or business operation interruption. While it would be difficult to find a company without a business continuity plan, the survey showed that there are still a large number of businesses who will not be ready when disaster strikes.