Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Risking Lives in a Snow Storm

According to several major news media outlets and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website, Gov. Tom Wolfe has declared a state of emergency ahead of tomorrow’s winter storm.

This affects Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, and York Counties.

At a time like this I remember when I worked at a TV station as a sales manager. One of my colleagues often reminder me that “We’re not curing cancer here.” That always helped me keep things in perspective.

Today, as a teacher and moral philosopher, I urge leaders to keep that perspective by asking these questions:

  1. Does my organization provide, coordinate, or dispatch immediate disaster relief services.
  2. Does my team directly provide healthcare?
  3. Do I manage a fleet of vehicles and equipment designed to minimize risk and respond to emergencies?
  4. Can my staff and I only be productive on vital, immediate tasks on-site, and not by working remotely from our homes?
  5. Do we have the specific responsibility and immediate means to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless at our facility?
  6. Are the products and services my staff provides of an immediate and vital nature on this particular day?

If the answer to any one of these questions is “Yes,” I hope you and your team are able to get to work safely because we need you.

If you answered “No” to ALL of these questions, please put the safety and lives of you and your staff first. Close the office or the store. Demanding people risk their lives to get to work during a state of emergency adds to the problem.

It may feed the ego of narcissistic mangers or keep the underlings from enjoying too much freedom, but it does no actual good.

Human life is of the utmost importance. Unnecessary cars on the road create greater risk for all drivers and for those whose jobs are vital on a day like tomorrow. This is a time for compassion and common sense.

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