As businesses and residents from Florida to North Carolina prepare to evacuate in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, it might be a good time to ask your employees if they feel like they would be prepared in the event of an emergency.

According to a National Safety Council poll, 34 percent of workers in the United States do not feel well trained in emergency practices, including evacuation. The poll reveals a disconnect between workers’ perceptions and those of their employers. Seventy-five percent of managers and supervisors say their employees are well trained to handle an emergency.

In light of the findings, the National Safety Council is calling for all employers to review emergency processes and procedures.

“A disaster can occur at any time, without warning, and workers must be ready to respond,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute and director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability at the National Safety Council. “Employers are responsible for ensuring not only a safe work environment, but also the proper training so employees return home every day safe and sound.”

The council found workers in some industries feel better prepared for an emergency than others. Eighty-three percent of employees who work in public transportation feel they were equipped to handle an emergency, while only 51 percent of food service workers believe they are prepared.

To better prepare workers for emergencies, NSC recommends employers:

  • Conduct regular fire and tornado drills.
  • Provide workplace violence education and training, including how to handle an active shooter situation.
  • Communicate impending risks, including inclement weather.
  • Offer First Aid and CPR training to employees.
  • Understand how well trained employees believe they are by conducting regular employee perception surveys.