When Helping Helps Everyone: Responding to a Disaster

When Helping Helps Everyone: Responding to a Disaster

Our Thinking / Healthcare /

When Helping Helps Everyone: Responding to a Disaster
Calendar29 August 2017

The images and stories coming out of Houston as the flooding worsens are heart-wrenching. It’s hard to watch but also hard to turn away and try to focus on normal life knowing that so many people are in danger or facing the loss of their homes and possessions. Employers with operations or workers in areas that have been or may be affected have critical work to do to safeguard their employees and their businesses right now. Constant communication from HR and benefits is key, as discussed in this EBN article with advice from employers that have been in similar situations.

If your organization has already found a way to help, be sure to let your employees know – it could relieve their stress to feel they are part of an organized outreach.

But an organization’s response to a disaster like hurricane Harvey can also be important for employees who are not directly affected but are feeling a range of emotions from empathy to severe anxiety as they follow the news. Many people may want to help but feel helpless. Knowing that your employer has found a way to contribute or has organized a way for employees to contribute can be greatly reassuring. Some companies are providing direct aid. Just two example: Anheuser-Busch is bottling water instead of beer and sending it to Texas. Southwest Airlines sent planes to help almost 500 people stranded at the Houston airport get home. These kinds of efforts make workers feel proud of their companies.

While not all organizations are in a position to provide hands-on assistance, money always helps.  It certainly made this blog team feel better to read a message from our CEO stating that MMC is both donating money and matching employee contributions to the Red Cross.  If your organization has already found a way to help, be sure to let your employees know – it could relieve their stress to feel they are part of an organized outreach.  We’ll look for stories of how other employers are responding and post them here; you might find an idea that would work in your organization.

Meanwhile, here are some organizations participating in hurricane relief efforts that need support: the American Red Cross, GlobalGiving, the SPCA of Texas, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

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