Is Your Business Prepared For An Emergency?
No one wants to think about emergencies, especially business owners – after all, you’ve already got a million things to worry about just to maintain your daily operations. But every responsible business leader has thought about the importance of planning for emergency situations, and we’re guessing that this applies to you since you’re reading this post. So be honest: is your business prepared for an emergency? If not, then let us help get you started with the following checklist of four simple tasks. Your proactive investment of time and resources in these vital tasks aren’t just good for business. They could save lives!
POST BUILDING EVACUATION ROUTES AND HOLD A DRILL TO REHEARSE.
If you don’t already have egress routes posted in your facility, they’re as simple as making a basic map of your building and drawing the route that people need to take in the case of an emergency like a fire. Set a date and time on your calendar to conduct a drill, and practice moving to designated locations where predetermined leaders will conduct a roll call for 100% accountability of your personnel. You’ll also want to plan ahead and rehearse where your team members will go in case of a tornado. Keep in mind how you want to maintain accountability of your staff throughout these events – in the case of an actual emergency, being able to account for every person is an essential task.
BASIC FIRST AID TRAINING.
Consider allocating time and resources in your calendar and budget to train at least two people per shift (one primary, one backup) who can provide basic life support in the case of an emergency like a heart attack, choking incident, severe allergic reaction, drug overdose and other potential crisis situations that can strike unexpectedly. Having training in advance will allow your designated first aid responders to render aid while also keeping the situation as calm as possible. Panicky people who are hovering around a colleague who has collapsed can further complicate an already tense and serious situation, so having a plan in place with well-trained, reliable staff members will instill a sense of confidence in your team.
CONDUCT ROUTINE SAFETY WALKS.
Setting aside time in your busy calendar to walk your entire facility will show to your staff that safety and preparedness are top priorities for you, and even though they might bemoan the temporary distraction of you making on-the-spot corrections for things like junk blocking emergency exits, the truth is that deep down they know you’re right to emphasize safety and they will appreciate your genuine concern for their well-being. Safety and disaster preparedness should also be on your agenda for key meetings – you can cover one brief topic per week and designate different team members who are each responsible for a small portion of the organization’s safety and disaster preparedness plan. Empower your employees to be a part of the effort and you’ll get much-needed buy-in while also helping develop leaders.
DISCUSS YOUR PLAN FOR AN EXTENDED INTERRUPTION IN OPERATIONS.
What if a hurricane, tornado, flood or other major incident disrupts your daily operations? What is the back-up plan for fulfilling orders, communicating with clients, managing payroll and the many other crucial tasks which have to happen if you hope to stay in business? If you haven’t thought about these things, you will be frantically reacting to the situation instead of enacting the plan you’ve already laid out and communicated to your team. There will be enough chaos in the case of a disaster, so you can avoid being a leader who adds to the confusion by proactively preparing now. There’s never enough time to do all the things you have to do in a business, but doesn’t the safety of your people and facility outweigh any other priority? You’ve taken the all-important first step by reading this blog, so we challenge you to get started on your emergency preparedness plan!
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