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Are you Prepared for an Emergency?

Every facility and/or business should have an emergency response plan (ERP). Having a plan is the cornerstone to ensuring your staff, visitors, and contractors know what to do in the event of an emergency. The plan should cover items such as fire, extreme weather, active shooter, and any other emergencies related to your geographical area. There are a lot of tools to aid in creating a good ERP, such as Ready and OSHA, to name a few. Additionally, you can also contact an INSURICA risk consultant team member for assistance.

The first place to start with your plan is by assessing the work/facility environment. This will aid in identifying hazards and certain circumstances that are unique to your location. Next, consider how you will protect your occupants in the case of an emergency. Think of all the scenarios! This is best suited as a brainstorming exercise with a small group. Another important element is assigning key roles within the plan. Consider the following: Who and how many employees will be trained in first aid and CPR? Who will ensure that the building is clear upon evacuation? How will incipient stage (small) fires be fought? How will employees be notified of different emergencies? Will there be a siren in combination with lights? These are a few questions that must be answered.

In addition, certain emergencies may call for the need to evacuate employees to a designated area. This can be accomplished by assigning a meeting area located a safe distance from the building, called a “muster point.” Another option for certain emergencies, such as severe weather, is sheltering-in-place. This would be a safe area where a person stays inside the building until an “all safe” call is given. If your facility is equipped with a tornado shelter that can be used as a shelter-in-place area, be sure that all employees know its location. It is not uncommon for ERPs to have maps that show escape routes and muster areas for easy identification by employees.

Developing an emergency response plan is a process that must be given proper attention. It is the basis for protecting people and the workforce in the event of an emergency. One article mentioned that 60% of organizations do not have a fully documented disaster recovery plan, while 40% of those with a plan admit it isn’t very effective when a disaster strikes. INSURICA wants to ensure that our clients are fully prepared and covered in the event of an emergency.

About the Author

DeMarcus Strange
DeMarcus Strange
DeMarcus is an internationally certified safety and risk management professional accredited by the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. His primary business focus is helping clients manage risks as it relates to the unique demands of their organization. DeMarcus takes pride in assisting organizations with hazard recognition, risk assessments, loss control techniques, training, and education to impact their employees in a positive way.

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