Is your company prepared in the event of an emergency at one or more business sites? While no manager or owner wants to have to deal with the potential for property damage or injury to staff and customers, all businesses must plan for such a contingency if they want to minimize the harm if something happens.
But, what constitutes a good emergency preparedness plan? Here are four things your company can do to be successful at preparing for the worst.
1. Assess Risks
The first step to planning for any risk is to recognize that it exists and how it might affect you. Every state and region faces certain universal risks. Californians face earthquakes. Florida businesses have to plan for hurricanes and tropical storms. Colorado companies may deal with snow, ice, and hail. What does your local area face? Start with the most likely and then move down the list to the unlikely.
In addition to general risks, your physical location or industry could add other complications. Is the building located in a flood plain? Could you be a target for terrorism? Do any nearby organizations — such as a power plant or hazardous materials facility — pose a particular threat?
What about risks on your own site? Does it have dangerous equipment or chemicals? Threats from the public? Disgruntled employees?
2. Write Plans
Once you know what types of emergencies could occur, write down instructions for handling them. Many companies prefer to create a plan for each of the assessed threats and label them for that emergency type. This results in a simple method for each person on the site to simply grab that particular plan and follow it without having to consult other documents or plans.
The creation of a written plan is one of the most challenging parts of any preparedness plan, so you should seek plenty of help with this task. Create a committee to work on specific tasks of the plan and consult with experts in the security and preparedness industry.
3. Train and Drill
The best way to ensure that your plan survives the initial outbreak of any crisis is to train staff and perform regular drills.
Seek out volunteers and assign responsible employees for tasks like leading department evacuations, confirming head counts, communicating with employees and management, monitoring public information, or securing certain property. When possible, train volunteers to help in a medical crisis by performing CPR or responding properly to an accident.
Training boosts specific employees’ skill and confidence in handling an emergency. But drills help everyone develop the habit of following written emergency procedures without hesitation. It also identifies weak spots in your plan.
4. Update Procedures
All preparedness documents should remain subject to updating. At least once per year, have the preparation committee meet with employees and security experts to reassess whether the plan is still viable.
Examine the plan from all angles. Has your staff size changed? Have any key employees left? Do all alarms, communications systems, and evacuation routes still work as intended? Can you use updated technology — such as security sensors or digital communication methods — to help in a crisis?
This is, of course, a simplified overview of how to make a successful emergency plan. To do this correctly may take months or years of work by your management and staff. The best resource you can have during this project is the help of experienced professionals.
At Trident Security, we can help. Our trained pros will work with you to design an emergency preparedness plan that saves lives and saves money. Call today to discuss your needs and make an appointment.