QUIZ: How prepared is your workplace for a hurricane?

Storms like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have raised awareness of the importance of preparing for potential disasters. Below is a quiz that will test your organization’s hurricane preparedness.

Please note that this quiz is intended solely to inspire workplaces to think about and plan for hurricane preparedness, and to provide a general idea of your facility’s readiness. There are many precautions that your workplace can take that are not covered by this test. For more thorough information on hurricane readiness, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

The quiz below includes a list of 10 statements with a point value next to each. Decide if each statement is true or false. If the statement is true, award yourself the number of points assigned to that statement. Once you’re done, add up your points to help determine workplace preparedness.

   1. My workplace has conducted a risk assessment. We’ve involved employees from all departments of our organization and brainstormed potential emergency scenarios that inform our hurricane readiness plans and procedures. (Award 4 points)

   2. My company has established an evacuation plan that will help workers get to a safe place if a hurricane affects the facility or job site. This plan includes: (Award 2 points for each item)

    • An outline of conditions that will activate the plan
    • Chain of command, including evacuation team leaders and a “floor warden” who can direct people on their floor toward safe exits
    • Lists and descriptions of emergency tasks and what team member will perform them
    • Head count procedures for employees
    • Procedures to account for guests and customers
    • Emergency equipment for personnel

   3. My workplace has a disaster supplies kit that includes: (Award 1 point for each item)

    • Water
    • Food
    • Flashlight to assist in a power outage
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio
    • A NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
    • First aid kit
    • Local maps
    • Mobile phone with power source
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Manual can opener for canned food items
    • Whistle to alert outsiders that you need help
    • Face masks to help filter contaminated air
    • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect your shelter
    • Moist towelettes for personal hygiene
    • Garbage bags and plastic tie to help keep your shelter sanitary
    • Extra batteries for all listed items that require them

   4. Members of our team are trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). (Award 4 points)

   5. Team members have been trained in the use of fire extinguishers. (Award 4 points)

   6. Sufficient exits exist in our facility and are regularly checked to ensure they are not blocked. (Award 4 points)

   7. All workers have been trained on hurricane readiness and know what to do in the event of an emergency. (Award 4 points)

   8. We regularly conduct exercises and practice our evacuation plan. (Award 4 points)

   9. We regularly update and improve our evacuation plan, incorporating lessons learned from challenges identified during evacuation practice. (Award 4 points)

   10. We have identified any employees that will need special assistance to evacuate the building and made plans to accommodate them. This includes workers with disabilities. (Award 4 points)


0-40 points – The workplace has lots of work to do. Don’t wait! An emergency can strike any time. Start preparing today.

40-50 points – You’ve laid the foundation of a solid hurricane readiness program, but there is still some work to do.

50- 60 points – Good start! Your workplace has a number of good safety precautions in place but some important plans, procedures, or items are still needed.

60 points – Great job! Your workplace is working hard to prepare for a hurricane. But remember, much uncertainty surrounds emergency weather situations, so you should always strive to improve your readiness.

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