You could say the wrong thing or have a conflict with the boss, but in California where the Artisan Team is hard at work, we are always just a moment away from the next natural disaster: an earthquake.

If you, like us, work in an area that could be hit by a natural disaster without any warning, you are probably prepared at home with a bin of water, non-perishable food and a battery-operated radio. Are you as prepared at your workplace?

  • Back up your work often—Your laptop might keep working for quite a few hours after a power outage, but you don’t want to spend all that power doing an emergency backup. Set aside a time every couple of weeks or more often to make backups of essential files on external media as well as in the Cloud. That way, whether you lose the internet or your hardware, you are still in business.
  • Have an emergency kit at your desk—If you can’t reach the closet where the office emergency supplies are stored, they won’t do you much good. Keep water, something to eat, a first aid kit, and a working flashlight in your desk just in case.
  • Clear the route—If your office space is crowded or you share space, make sure you all agree to keep the hallways clear of boxes and clutter that could block your escape route.
  • Stay plugged in—Unless there is a danger of a power surge, keep your technology plugged in when you can, in case the power goes out during an event. Don’t wait for a yellow alert to charge up.
  • Know the numbers—In some places, calling 911 gets you through to a central hub rather than the closest first-responders. Make sure you know the best way to get help from work as well as from home and program it into your phone.

In California, we know “The Big One” is coming, we just don’t know when. We can all use a reminder every so often about how to be prepared for the unpredictable. Now, where is my flashlight?

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative