Category: Disaster Planning

Hurricane and Tornado Prep and Apps

Here’s sound advice from your government:

As hurricane season begins, take a few minutes to review guidelines on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

If you live in certain regions of the United States–including Hawaii and coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico–preparing for a hurricane may be especially critical. The high winds and heavy rainfall of hurricanes can lead to flying debris, flooding, landslides, and other dangerous situations.

For easy access to hurricane information on your phone, download the free Hurricane App from the American Red Cross (iPhone and Android). It will help you track storms, prepare your family and home, get help, and more. Find additional mobile apps, including a Tornado App.

Note that there are additional tools on HR That Works under Disaster Planning.

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Paying Employees During a Disaster Like Sandy


Any time we are met with a disaster like Sandy one of the most common questions that are surface are around show up pay and payment of exempt salaries. Here’s what the law says about it:

Paying Employees Who Show Up and Have No Work to Do

While the FLSA does not address this directly, many states do. It is known as call-in or reporting pay. For example, under Mass. Law:

455 CMR 2.03– (1) Reporting Pay. When an employee who is scheduled to work three or more hours

reports for duty at the time set by the employer, and that employee is not provided with the expected

hours of work, the employee shall be paid for at least three hours on such day at no less than the basic

minimum wage.

Here is an excellent summary created by SHRM so you can see the law in your state. HR That Works Members should all look at the BNA state law summaries under the Compensation folder.

Paying Exempt Employees Who Cannot Work

Bottom line is that if an employee is ready, willing and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available (29 C.F.R. 541.602(a)). You can have them use vacation or sick pay under appropriate conditions. Please see this FLSA memo for further instruction

OSHA Provides Technical Advice on Recovering from Disaster Safely

When disasters strike, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration transforms itself and swings into technical assistance mode for affected areas. This week, after devastating storms pounded a large number of southern states, OSHA deployed teams of technical advisors to the affected areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. OSHA staff contacted incident commanders at the various county emergency management centers, as well as power companies that will be involved in the cleanup. They also do assessments of the safety needs for recovery workers. Dangers from downed electrical power lines and fallen trees are only two of the many hazards facing workers. “Storm recovery work encompasses a wide range of safety and health hazards, which can be minimized by knowledge, safe work practices and personal protective equipment, ” said Cindy Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta.

HR That Works Members should also review the many tools in the Disaster Planning section.

OSHA Reminds Employers of Snow Cleanup Hazards

In light of the recent snowstorms in the east and in anticipation of more winter storms, OSHA wants to remind workers, employers and the general public of the hazards associated with snow removal and recovery work. Common hazards can include: electric shock from contact with downed power lines or the use of ungrounded electrical equipment; falls from snow removal on roofs, or while working in aerial lifts or on ladders; being struck or crushed by trees, branches or structures that collapse under the weight of accumulated snow; carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline-powered generators in inadequately ventilated areas or idling vehicles; and lacerations or amputations from unguarded or improperly operated chain saws and power tools or improperly attempting to clear jams in snow blowers. Information on hazards and safeguards associated with cleanup and recovery activities after a storm or other major weather events are available on OSHA’s website in English and Spanish.

Click here to learn more about Hazards and Safeguards. Click here to read the News Release.