Employees are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of emergency preparedness and plans. Do you know if your organization has a plan? Or, if you have a plan, when was the last time it was reviewed and presented to employees? Below are some key elements that should be included in your plan.
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR – Designate a responsible employee as your Emergency Coordinator. This person will be your go-to person during an emergency. He/she will be responsible for holding onto the emergency kit. Your Emergency Coordinator should also be the leader in guiding people to your safe place and take attendance as people arrive. Some workplaces designate more than one Emergency Coordinator to help with these tasks. In larger organizations, there is a team of employees who serve as Emergency Coordinators and are organized by an Emergency Team Leader. In that situation, the Emergency Coordinators are also selected by location so that there are coordinators on each floor of the workplace.
EMERGENCY KITS – The kits should at least contain water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle, dust mask, wrench, local maps, and moist towelettes. American Red Cross actually sells emergency kits on their website. You can either purchase one of those, or take a look at what they have in their kits and make your own.
SAFE PLACE – In your plan, you must designate a safe place to gather should the building need to be evacuated. This place needs to be away from your building, but close enough so that everyone can meet during an evacuation. The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for determining whether the route is clear for the evacuation.
Those are just a few elements needed to build a plan. FEMA has a great site that contains more information on developing your plans to be as effective as possible.
As you are a reading this, I am sure you are wondering where you will find the time to put this together. However, I urge you to set aside the time to review your plan, keeping in mind that a plan is not set unless it is reviewed and shared with all employees.
For those that have gone through the emergency plan creation process, do you have any suggestions?