Coronavirus MEMBER RESOURCES

MEMBER RESOURCES
COVID-19 Coronavirus

The Geoprofessional Business Association understands the COVID-19 Coronavirus may impact our members’ businesses in many ways. As the preferred source of business-education resources, specifically risk management and business performance optimization for geoprofessional firms, we will monitor this situation and provide resources for our members.

It is important for all businesses to consider potential business interruptions that we may expect:
• Business Travel Restrictions
• Employee Health
• Working from Home
• Subconsultants’ Inability to Provide Services
• Client Funding Restrictions
• Project Delays
• Delayed Deliverables from Analytical Laboratories
• Requirements to Provide Additional Health and Safety Plans
• Global Economic Downturn

Example 1: Positive and Proactive Communication Updated March 16, 2020

First – You
The health and well-being of our staff is paramount. As we all continue to adjust to the realities of this issue, we wanted to remind everyone to continue to follow the CDC and local health department recommendations around hygiene, managing your own health in relation to others at work, and limiting close contact. There are several resources available online such as the CDC and local and state health authorities that we encourage you to review and be able to prepare for your personal being.

Second – What our Company is doing
Our goal is to continue to serve our clients and meet project deadlines. Over the past week we have been focused on preparing for staff to effectively work from home. By next Monday we will have the ability to have the majority of staff work remotely if that becomes necessary. We will be providing additional correspondence and guidance documents in the next few days but let me emphasize that this is in response to the potential closures. The intent is not to create actual home-office setups, but rather do what needs to be done—potentially at the expense of convenience—to keep us at a level of productivity that ensures that we can continue to do business if staff movements are restricted.
While we are preparing for the possibility, our firm is not currently planning to close any of our offices unless we are forced to by local agencies. As such, we are intending to continue to meet client needs and maintain normal business operations.
We appreciate your attention to this and your cooperation around the changes to all of our days that this represents. Please remain alert for updates surrounding this issue. Also, please continue to direct any additional questions you have to HR.

Example 2: Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 Disease Response Plan Updated March 26, 2020

Our firm has prepared a Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response Plan. Please feel free to share it with GBA Members so they can develop their own plan efficiently.
Download: Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 Disease Response Plan Example

Example 3: Required Training Updated March 27, 2020

What can each of us do to minimize the risk? Prevention remains the number one action we can all take to help minimize the risk to our people, offices, and communities. We all have a role to play in protecting each other.
We have assigned every employee the “Cold, Flu, and Transmissible Illness Prevention” course through on-line training. Please note the following:
• This is required training by everyone in our firm.
• This course takes only 8-10 minutes to complete, and it is a key piece of our proactive response to the current COVID-19 situation.

Example 4: Client Questionnaire  Updated March 16, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus Impact Inquiry and Mitigation Actions Questionnaire
1. Are you experiencing any disruption to your supply chain due to COVID-19 Coronavirus?
If “yes” what disruption are you seeing?
If “no” how are you avoiding disruption?
2. What specific geography is causing the disruptions?
3. Do you anticipate issues with the continuation of normal operations in your business with our company?
If “yes” elaborate on expected issues.
If “no” elaborate on actions taken to avoid issues.
4. Do you have mitigation plans in place to ensure you can meet your commitments to our company in the next 6-months?
If “yes” elaborate on your mitigation plans.
If “no”, why?

Example 5: Laboratory Shift to Workflow Updated March 27, 2020

Our firm is maintaining workflow in our laboratories while reducing person-to-person contact by dividing the lab staff into two shifts. We now have a morning and evening shift. That cuts the number of people in the lab at any one time in half, reduces the headcount to less than 10 at any time, and increases the “social distancing”. For some working parents, the evening shift is actually more attractive as it allows one parent to be at home at all times.

Example 6: Defining Essential Business  Updated March 27, 2020

Many of our projects that are currently under construction have been designated by local government as “essential business”. Therefore, these construction projects are still active and our CoMET personnel must be on site, our engineers must be available, and our laboratories must be working. To understand which projects will stay active, we have contacted clients to determine which of their projects that are currently under construction will stay active and if that status is based on a written statement from local government that the project is “essential business” (or if the client has made that decision on their own).

Example 7: Construction Site Worker Health Monitoring Updated March 27, 2020

Some active construction sites are now checking the health of all people who arrive on site. The general contractor has set up a tent in the parking area. Everyone arriving on site must check in at the tent every day, complete a questionnaire on their health, and have their temperature taken. Our personnel must be ready for this process and arrive early so they can be ready for their work at the time needed.

Example 8: Proposal Limitations Language  Updated March 27, 2020

We are implementing some limitations language in our proposals relative to COVID19. The language we plan on using is below and GBA Members are welcome to use and/or adapt it.
COVID-19 Limitations – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, {COMPANY} may encounter unforeseen situations that could impact the scope, fees, and schedule presented in this proposal. We will comply with local, state, and federal requirements and restrictions as well as {COMPANY}’s own safety guidelines and any guidelines imposed by our clients related to COVID-19 while accomplishing our services. We may also be impacted by our vendors and subconsultants ability to provide goods and services in a timely manner. If we do encounter situations that will impact scope, fees, and schedules, we will notify you as soon as possible to discuss these changes and how to move forward in accomplishing the work.

Example 9: DHS Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce Travel Document Updated March 27, 2020

See the draft letter in  that our Firm is providing to employees that are travelling to project sites. This is in response to a lot of employees asking what they should do if local law enforcement asks them why they are not at home. Feel free to use as you see fit. Obviously, it would need to be edited for your particular jurisdictions; and we expect the letter to change as requirements change.

   To Whom It May Concern/Local Law Enforcement:

 

Please be advised that the person in possession of this letter is an employee performing or supporting one of the following activities identified in the   DHS Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidance During COVID-  19 Response,” (“DHS CISA Guidance”) pursuant to the following orders:

• Identify jurisdictional orders and declarations here

{Company} provides a number of services in direct support of non-federal clients including the (a) engineering, testing, observation, and monitoring of the temporary and permanent expansion of public and private healthcare facilities as well as other infrastructure necessary to support agriculture and grocery distribution, pipeline, marine, rail and road transport systems, (b) testing and inspection related to and maintenance of safe drinking water, water drainage, and wastewater operations, (c) the inspection and testing of the maintenance of essential “public works facilities” as specified by the Department of Homeland Security, (d) inspection and testing of maintenance and preventative measures to protect communication towers and related facilities, (e) field engineering and technician support for critical cyber and information technology infrastructure, (f) monitoring hazardous materials and their clean-up, (g) environment monitoring and remediation, (h) engineering support for emergency repairs for maintenance and protection of roadways and structures, and (i) monitoring COVID disinfecting activities consistent with established protocol.

By the nature of what we do, most of our services are can be provided within CDC’s social distancing guidelines. We also remind all employees to practice the following practice drawn from the CDC guidelines:

1. Frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds.
2. If soap and water aren’t an option, a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer will suffice.
3. Employees who are sick must stay home and contact a physician about being tested.
4. Employees who present symptoms while at work, should be isolated until they can be sent home. They should be told to see a physician as soon as possible.
5. In-office staffing must be reduced (up to 50%) percent and work remotely.
6. Cleaning crews must be properly cleaning and disinfecting common-use surfaces.
7. Engage in social distancing. The CDC recommends keeping 6 feet from
others and avoiding physical contact.
8. Use good “respiratory etiquette” – covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, then properly disposing of the tissues.
9. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
10.Avoid use of co-worker’s phones, desks, offices, and/or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
11. Avoid all unnecessary travel.
12. Avoid groups of more than 10, and the number drops to 4 if you are in a high-risk group or an ____ conference room, or any lower number
required by state or local law.

(Please share how your company is addressing the COVID-19 Coronavirus so we can learn from each other – send to GBA Coronavirus collaboration)

Business Brief – Preparing for the Next Recession Now
No one knows when the next recession will arrive, but most economists agree that another recession is certain. Most also agree that we’re getting closer
to the next recession. What can geoprofessionals
do now to prepare?Create or Update Your Strategic Plan
o Strengthen Client Relationships and Increase Your Brand Equity
o Identify Ways to Increase Cash Availability
o Examine Your Financial Structure and Results
o Align Your Corporate Culture with Your Strategy
These themes are presented along with practices to deal with the recession once it arrives. The Business Brief focuses on how to help you prepare for and thrive during the next recession.DOWNLOAD 
2020 Spring Conference – RESILIENCE: Preparing for the Next Downturn
Now is the time for geoprofessional firms to position themselves for the unexpected. Join us as expert economists, strategists, authors, and GBA Members help to make us all smarter, stronger, and more successful.Please join us!Register HERE
2019 Fall Conference Presentation – Planning, Preparing, and Executing for the Next RecessionThis presentation by Lee James, CPA, CBI, CMC (Lee James & Associates, Inc.) introduces the What, When, Where, Who, Why and How of planning, preparing, and executing for a future recession. What should be done? When should needed actions occur? Where within your organization should this occur? Who should be the key people involved? Why is it important? How should this be completed? Lee shares with you best practices and lessons learned from prior recessions; challenges and specifics to help you be better prepared; and the importance of being proactive in planning, preparing, and executing to best survive and thrive through a recession.

 

Thank you for your patience as we have been collecting information and making tough decisions. Out of consideration to the health and welfare of our members and in our global efforts to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic we will not be meeting in Florida this Spring for our annual Spring Conference.

Committee Meetings
In the near future we will be setting up web-based meeting platforms for GBA Committees to meet as scheduled on Thursday, April 23, 2020. We will work with Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs to plan for successful remote meetings.

Conference Presentations
We are also setting up a web-based platform to deliver our outstanding conference content on April 27-May 1, 2020 as our Conference theme “RESILIENCE: Preparing for the Next Downturn” has become more timely than ever. All GBA Members are welcome to join. A schedule of presentations and web conferencing information will be provided in the next few weeks.

We will provide registrants full reimbursement on conference registration fees or apply them to our Fall 2020 Conference. We will contact you this week to coordinate your reimbursement.

Hotel and Airline Cancellation
If you made a hotel reservation at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort (800)-228-9290 and/or the Hilton Garden Inn (904)-280-1661 in Ponte Vedra Beach, please note it is your responsibility to contact the hotel(s) where you have previously secured a guest room and cancel your room reservation. GBA cannot do this on your behalf and the hotel will not automatically cancel your room reservation. Please ensure that you get a cancellation confirmation from the hotel(s).

Please remember to cancel your airline tickets. Most airlines are allowing passengers to cancel without penalty.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the GBA Staff or Joel Carson,  our Executive Director. Thank you again for your support of GBA and for your efforts to combat this pandemic.