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Hurricane Irene Watch: PwC Encourages Employees to Prepare to Work By Candlelight

Directly from 300 Madison:


This is a ridiculous email, see below, that we received [Thursday] regarding the hurricane. I work at 300 Madison Ave and thought this was hilarious. Note how we are supposed to buy candles in case the power goes out but we also need to bring our laptops home so we can work from home on Monday. Sorry P Dubb but if I need plywood to protect my apt from hurricane winds, the client should understand why my deliverable is a day or two late.

Also, during the winter we constantly get emails informing us that the office ONLY closes if the governor declares a state of emergency. According to this article, Cuomo already did that but good ol’ [Metro Region Managing Partner] Brendan Dougher hasn’t sent me an email telling me to stay home.

Here’s the communiqué:

Hurricane Irene

Unfortunately it appears that hurricane Irene will make for a challenging weekend for our area and we wanted to share the following information and guidance with you. As always, the firm’s first priority is the safety and well being of its people.

US Security is in regular contact with a private weather service and will track the storm over the weekend and remain in contact with our local team. When you leave the office today and tomorrow, take your laptop with you as you may need to work from home on Monday. Please secure all work-papers and confidential information in a locked drawer, filing cabinet or in the Records Center. Depending on the damage and disruptions from the storm, we may need to adjust our office hours on Monday. Please check your e-mail or voicemail early Monday morning to obtain the latest information on the status of the office.

Actions Required

Update your personal and emergency contact information with your profile on myKcurve; this information is critical for our Crisis Assessment Team who may need to locate you after a disruptive event

Program the Emergency Hotline number [redacted] into your cellular phone and also provide the number to your family and other emergency contacts that may need to inquire about your safety and well being

Respond to any e-mails or voice messages from the Crisis Assessment Team or office contacts attempting to locate you after an event

Check your voice messages. Office announcements and crisis guidance may be shared with you through this medium

Secure all client or confidential information in a locked drawer, filing cabinet, or the Records Center before departing from work

Take your laptop and essential peripherals home with you.

Guidance to Consider at Home

Have candles and/or battery operated lighting readily available; hurricanes typically result in power outages

Have a battery powered radio available to receive weather reports and evacuation advisories

Stock food supplies that do not require cooking

Stock 2-3 days of water; one gallon per person per day

Purchase a First Aid Kit for the appropriate number of members in your home; consider liquid soap that does not require water

Identify a secure location in the home away from windows where you can locate during the storm; consider storing blankets in this area

Have plywood or shutters ready to cover windows

Remove all objects in your yard that are not secured or could be damaged by the wind

Be prepared for flooding and heavy rains

One of the best preparedness items is to stay informed. Follow news reports and read office communications. Many websites also provide comprehensive coverage and are a great resource for all of us. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact or call the Emergency Hotline.

So while the rest of Manhattan is bailing itself out by bucket, be sure you’ve taken the necessary precautions to hit the ground running on Monday. And take it easy on the weekend. If the electricity is out, you’ll need plenty of battery to get through the day.

Hurricane Irene Watch: Deloitte Edition

As you may have heard, there’s a bit of a storm coming to the east coast. Since the DC area got the brunt of the earthquake, those in charge of the weather figured the Northeast got a bit short-changed in the natural disaster department. As is typical in these situations, firm leadership sends out some talking points to make sure everyone knows what to do in case worst happens (e.g. client are unable to pay, FOBs stop working). Deloitte’s message came out late yesterday and our tipster was not impressed:

Here’s our token disaster update from Uncle D. Not even one reference to being careful and staying safe??? Our disaster plans include taking work home with us and backing up our laptops in case we’re killed. That’s a new low, even for the Big 4.

Northeast Update

Hurricane Irene

To all Northeast professionals:

As you are likely aware, Hurricane Irene is gaining momentum and officials have issued watches for the Northeast area starting on Saturday, August 27.

This email contains important information for you to do and consider:

· While our office is currently scheduled to be open on Monday, use your own judgment regarding your personal safety and coordinate with your direct Supervisor or Manager to advise them of your plans.

· Take your laptop, related accessories, and any files that you may need home with you.

· Be sure to complete a back-up on your laptop prior to the weekend in case of any power outages.

· If you are in an office with a window, clear all articles from the window ledge and remove any boxes from the floor.

· If you are using an airport in the region, check your flight status before leaving for the airport. The Deloitte Travel Center [redacted] can help with any necessary re-scheduling.

· For ideas on making a family plan, visit Ready America, and go to the National Hurricane Center website for detailed storm updates.

We will continue to monitor the storm and its path over this weekend. If there is a change to our office’s status, we will issue an email before 6:00 a.m. Monday morning with further instructions.

Stay safe,

Northeast Regional Operations Leader

Well, “Stay safe” as a valediction could be understood as “be careful/be safe” but our tipster sure didn’t take it that way. If you find your firm’s Irene information email to be hysterical, indifferent or if your firm seems to be blowing the whole thing off, we’d love to see it. Send it our way.