7 Essential Elements of an Emergency Action Plan
You never know when a disaster, such as a fire, storm, flood or gas leak, could affect your commercial property and everyone in it. Your business in Hope, RI, needs an emergency action plan that you practice beforehand. It may seem odd to have a fire drill in the middle of the day, but if a problem occurs, you will be glad you took the time to do so. Your plan should include the following elements.
1. Clearly Mapped Routes
A map of your planned route to safety should be posted in various places throughout the building. You need at least one map for evacuating the building in case of a fire and one map for getting to a safe area in the building in case of a storm.
2. Evacuation Procedures
Everyone in the building should know how an emergency is announced and what to do when that happens. A fire drill can help teach the proper evacuation procedure to employees.
3. Reporting Plan
You need to decide how you are going to report a problem to the proper authorities. Pull stations and panic buttons may be installed to assist with timely reporting.
4. Designated Tasks for Personnel
Each task that must be accomplished needs to have a specific person assigned to it ahead of time. Don't wait until you are in the moment to decide who needs to shut down operations.
5. Clear Chain of Command
No matter how many people you have performing different tasks, someone needs to be in charge. Decide on a chain of command ahead of time.
6. Current Contact List of Building Occupants
Whether you leave the building or retreat to a safe spot within it, you will need a way to confirm that everyone who should be there arrives safely. Keep an up-to-date contact list in your emergency kit.
7. Data Backup
Any emergency has the potential to destroy important documents. While some may be able to be recovered by restoration professionals, it's important to have a backup in case they are ruined.
A fire drill can help with evacuation preparation. Having a clear plan can save lives.