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Preparing for an Emergency? Don’t Forget Work!

September is Emergency Preparedness Month—a great time to consider plans and supplies. But, while preparing for an emergency at your house, don’t overlook another location: the workplace.

“We spend so much of our time at work; it’s not out of the question that a disaster could strike when we’re on the job,” said Leigh Manning, senior safety management consultant at SAIF. “We recommend making a ‘go bag’ for work as part of emergency preparedness.”

Manning suggests there are different considerations for work than home.

“Most people have a good understanding of what supplies they have around the house—whether its canned food or extra medications. But do you know what supplies your employer has on hand already?”

In addition to confirming what preparations your employer has already made, Manning offers the following items as a starting place for your personal workplace go bag:

  • Energy bars and water
  • Extra medications
  • A change of clothes
  • A blanket and warm gloves

Manning also recommends people consider their family communication plan.

“Any emergency is stressful, but being away from your family, home, and pets can cause additional anxiety,” said Manning. “Consider having an out-of-state contact that you and your family all check in with—not only for peace of mind, but so you can coordinate a meeting place.”

Finally, be sure to plan a route to your house, as well as a place where you can take shelter if you’re unable to get home. While you may need to shelter in place at work, you also need to know safe routes if you are asked to evacuate.

More information—including ideas on what to pack for home, school, and your car—can be found at

About SAIF

SAIF is Oregon’s not-for-profit workers’ compensation insurance company. Since 1914, we’ve been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on

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