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As the workweek begins today, many conversations are going to turn to the devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused this weekend in Houston, southeast Texas and coastal Louisiana. Unending rain has turned streets into rivers and made thousands of homes and businesses uninhabitable.
The National Weather Service has called the flooding "unprecedented"—worse even than Hurricane Sandy, which battered New York and New Jersey in 2012, Ike, which hammered the Texas Gulf Coast in 2008, and Hurricane Katrina, which washed away parts of New Orleans and coastal Louisiana in 2005. These were the three costliest storms in recent history, in terms of property damage. Hundreds of lives were lost in the storms.
[SHRM members-only platform: Disaster Prep & Recovery on SHRM Connect]
Employees all over the country will be wondering how they can help the storm victims. Here are some ideas
SHRM Online has compiled from reporting on previous storms and suggestions offered by organizations in Houston:
Storm Victims at Work
If you have employees who have lost homes, vehicles or other property in the storm, they may need time off to focus on family and personal situations. Schools may be closed and no childcare available. Consider offering alternate work arrangements,
allowing unscheduled leave and leave without pay, and creating a leave donation program.
Invite your EAP provider to the workplace to talk with employees individually about their concerns.
For more information on dealing with the aftermath of the storm—including employee communications, pay questions and leave eligibility issues—turn to
Workplace Weather Disaster Resources page.
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