BLR News

9/14/2005 Poll: Only 28% of Safety Pros Ready for a Natural Disaster

Old Saybrook, CT – September 13, 2005 – In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation wrought in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region, a majority of health and safety professionals say that their current emergency planning leaves them unprepared for a natural disaster, according to an online poll conducted by

Fifty-four percent of respondents said "no" when posed the question "Are you prepared for a natural disaster?" Another 18 percent were unsure of their preparedness, leaving only 28 percent responding that their emergency planning was up to snuff. The poll was conducted September 6 to September 13 and had 307 participants.

"After the devastating tsunamis in Asia and the complete destruction caused by Katrina, every business has had a chance to realize that a firm’s survival is tied to having a viable emergency response plan," said Steve Quilliam, managing editor of, a website from Business & Legal Reports, Inc. (BLR). "Considering that such planning is also required under multiple environmental and OSHA regulations, these results are disappointing."'s team of compliance editors recommends that at a minimum, facilities take the following steps:

  • Identify emergency power requirements to maintain essential operations. Test all generators monthly.
  • Determine computer support for employees who need to remain operational during a natural disaster.
  • Plan for methods of emergency communications with suppliers, customers, and employees if there is an evacuation or extended power outage. Keep contact lists accessible.
  • Determine and obtain emergency supplies.
  • Survey your facility and list all emergency preparations, along with an implementation plan.
  • Ensure that your facility is in compliance with any regulatory requirements (e.g., RCRA releases or OSHA regulations).
  • Determine how emergency information and records can be maintained and accessed remotely.

Copies of all OSHA emergency response regulations as well as detailed compliance information are available at To help in the development of a disaster response plan, BLR is providing a free copy of its feature article "Emergencies: Readiness Makes a Difference" at the following link:

About BLR
Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for environmental, safety, HR, and compensation managers. For more information, call 800-727-5257 or visit