Survey: Most Firms Have Disaster Preparedness Plans in Place, But Many Lack Confidence in Ability to Face Threats

As the ten-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, the Society for Human Resources announced results from a survey it conducted on organizations' disaster preparedness plans. Although 61% of the 306 respondent organizations had either implemented or revised their plans since the attacks, only 33% felt prepared "to a great or very great extent" to manage a threat or disaster (terrorist attack, natural disasters, epidemics, workplace violence, etc.), while 42% felt prepared "to a moderate extent." The survey indicated that large firms (2,500 or more employees) were most likely to have in place a formal disaster preparedness plan. The most common security provisions were "offering and requiring more training about crisis/disaster management," and "developing business continuity plans." Remarkably, identification badges for employees are required by only 18% of respondents.

A security expert quoted in a related report by Workforce Management noted that, in addition to physical safety concerns, companies must concern themselves with "computer hacking, pre-employment screening and other types of security concerns." He also noted that businesses need crisis preparedness plans addressing all issues, and recommended that companies with sensitive data perform pre-employment background checks. However, employers conducting such checks must ensure they comply with applicable privacy and discrimination laws.

Photo credit: MBPHOTO, INC.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.