YOUR EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN MUST INCLUDE:
- Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments.
- Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate.
- Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed.
- Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them.
- Means of reporting fires and other emergencies.
- Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
Almost every business is required by law to have an Emergency Action Plan. If fire extinguishers are required or provided in your workplace, and if anyone will be evacuating during a fire or other emergency, then the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires you to have an Emergency Action Plan. Please check with your legal counsel to ensure your business complies with government regulations.
- Assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
- Review your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Include emergency payroll, expedited financial decision-making and accounting systems to track and document costs in the event of a disaster. Establish procedures for succession of management including at least one person who is not at the company headquarters, if possible.
- Decide who should participate in putting together your emergency plan. Include co-workers from all levels in planning and as active members of the emergency management team. Consider a broad cross-section of people from throughout your organization, but focus on those with expertise vital to daily business functions. These will likely include people with technical skills as well as managers and executives.
- Make a list of your most important customers and plan ways to serve them during and after a disaster. Also identify key suppliers, shippers, resources, and other businesses you must interact with on a daily basis. Develop professional relationships with more than one company in case your primary contractor cannot meet your needs. A disaster that shuts down a key supplier can be devastating to your business.
- Finally, plan what you will do if your building, plant, or store is not accessible. Define crisis management procedures and individual responsibilities in advance. Talk with your staff or co-workers and frequently review and practice what you intend to do during and after an emergency.