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As September is Emergency Preparedness Month, SAIF encourages workers to be ready for disater

A state agency is driving home the fact that September is Emergency Preparedness Month by encouraging someone other than homeowners to prepare for emergency: business owners and workers.

"We spend so much of our time at work, it's not out of the question that a disaster could strike when we're on the job," said Leigh Manning, a senior safety management consultant for SAIF, the state's workers' compensation insurance company. "We recommend making a 'go bag' for work as part of emergency preparedness."

Manning says different considerations must be made to prepare at work rather than at home.

"Most people have a good understanding of what supplies they have around the house — whether its canned food or extra medications," she said. "But do you know what supplies your employer has on hand already?"

Regardless of what your employer has on hand, it's a good idea for workers to supplement that inventory with items of your own, including energy bars and water, extra medication, a change of clothes, a blanket and warm gloves.

In addition, communication during an emergency is paramount.

"Any emergency is stressful, but being away from your family, home and pets can cause additional anxiety," Manning said. "Consider having an out-of-state contact that you and your family all check in with — not only for peace of mind, but so you can coordinate a meeting place."

Finally, plan a route to your house as well as to a place where you can take shelter if you're unable to get home. While you may need to shelter in place at work, you also need to know safe routes if you are asked to evacuate.

For more information -- including ideas on what to pack for home, school, and your car – visit www.saif.com/prepare.

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