Emergency preparedness for businesses has become a necessity in today’s world. Severe weather events, violent attacks and unexpected threats to health and safety occur without warning and can lead to catastrophic injuries and damage to property. Proactive steps can help to minimize the risk to workers and property. Here are a few measures you can take to ensure your office is ready when an emergency occurs.
Evacuation & Shelter in Place Plans
You may receive advance warning for some emergencies like severe weather, and you should have a plan in place to immediately notify employees to evacuate the premises and return to their homes. However, during some emergencies, you will be notified to shelter in place, and in these cases, you should have an area of the building that is away from windows or other hazards where your employees can wait out the emergency safely.
Communications are critical during emergency situations. However, electricity, phone lines and cellphone towers may not be in operation during the incident. You should have emergency communication equipment on hand, along with battery-powered radios to ensure important, life-saving information. Establish a “chain of command” to ensure that information is adequately provided to everything in your office. This should include assigning individuals to contact emergency personnel when needed and to stay in contact with public service agencies to receive ongoing updates.
Securing Your Building
Business owners should have a plan in place to secure important data, including storing it off-site to prevent loss that could negatively affect your company. You should also be ready to secure your office with storm shutters to prevent glass breakage, sand bags to staunch floodwaters and storing hazardous chemicals and tanks. In areas where severe flooding events occur regularly, soil grouting can be used to stabilize the ground to minimize damage to buildings and stored materials.
First Aid Kits & CPR Equipment
Every business should have a well-equipped first aid kit on hand in case of injury to an employee. The kit should contain a variety of items, including bandages, medical tape, antiseptic, antihistamine medication, pain relievers, splint and resuscitation bag. Popularly priced defibrillation kits are also available, which can save an individual’s life in case of a heart attack. Providing first aid training and training in CPR can help to save lives during emergency conditions.
Emergencies can occur in a variety of forms and at any time. Whether it is a severe weather event, a security problem or unexpected release of hazardous material, you can protect your business and your workforce with an emergency plan that is ready to be implemented when needed. These steps will help you to prepare for any situation that threatens the health and safety of your staff.