Planning for Emergencies – Emergency Action Plan

The purpose of an Emergency Action Plan is to help you prepare for dealing with emergencies–to protect your employees from serious injury or loss of life and to minimize property loss or other potential damage to your business

Emergency action plans allow you plan ahead. It allows you to educate, train and prepare your employees to act effectively during an emergency. Emergency action plans not only help your organization prepare for catastrophic events they can also prevent smaller emergencies from turning into major ones.

It is difficult to think clearly and logically during a crisis and that is why it is so important to plan for emergencies before they happen. Planning ahead can make a difference.

OSHA recommends employers and employees to take necessary precautions to stay safe and develop an emergency action plan. At a minimum, an emergency action plan should include:

  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies.
  • An evacuation policy and procedure.
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas.
  • Names and contact information for individuals both within and outside your company for additional information or explanation of responsibilities under the emergency plan.
  • Procedures for employees who perform or shut down critical plant operations or perform essential services that cannot be shut down before evacuating.
  • Rescue and medical duties for any employees designated to perform them.

Your employees and co-workers are your business’s most important and valuable asset. There are some procedures you can put in place before a disaster, but you should also learn about what you need to recover after a disaster.

More helpful links for Emergency Planning:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Ready” Web site
NIOSH Emergency Preparedness for Business
FEMA Emergency Planning and Checklists

Emergency Planning Safety Training Products
Emergency Planning Video Program
Emergency Response Training Program
Safety Plan Customizer

Here’s a video from the Adcouncil featuring two US presidents on the importance of planning ahead for emergencies.