“I never thought something like this could happen here.” How many times have we heard traumatized people on the evening news saying those words? Whether a disaster is natural or manmade, there is no substitute for preparing ahead of time. Regardless of how big or small your business is, the development of an emergency response plan can save lives, time, and money.
We understand that business owners are busy people, shouldering the responsibility and decision making to earn revenues and grow the business. And while operating a business is no easy task, there are many reasons business leaders need to take time out to develop an emergency response plan without delay.
1. Saving lives.
When the unthinkable happens, the safety of your employees, contractors, and visitors can be jeopardized. An emergency response plan anticipates the most likely natural and manmade disaster, and maps out what people should do to be safe. Whether the plan calls for a lock down, an evacuation, shelter-in-place, or some other action, having people aware of the actions they should take in an emergency might save their lives and those of their co-workers.
Remember, once the emergency response plan is written, it must also be publicized and the action items must be practiced in order for the plan to be effective.
2. Saving time
In emergencies, time is of the essence. When disaster strikes, you don’t have time to try and make up an action plan on the spot. People will look to the leader to know what to do, and delays in any of the following will jeopardize the safety of everyone involved in an emergency situation:
Your notification system. Can you communicate vital instructions to your employees within seconds? Can you alert potential visitors to stay away from your facility until the emergency is resolved?
Calling 911 with concise description of the situation, along with clear directions about where in the building or on the grounds you need responders to arrive.
Contacting anyone in the building who is trained in emergency medical care, safe handling of chemicals in the case of a leak, or facilities personnel who can assess structural vulnerabilities.
Preparing the facility and grounds in the event of an impending weather-related emergency.
3. Saving money
Without question, the single highest priority in the event of an emergency is the safety and welfare of the people being effective. However, emergency response plans can:
Itemize damage and resources being used to mitigate the situation as it unfolds.
Provide data and information FEMA and other organizations need to provide reimbursement funds in certain emergencies.
Predetermine what you need to file insurance claims.
Help you decide how much to set aside for equipment and other preparations for emergencies.
Taking the time to think about what emergencies your business is most vulnerable to, and then developing plans and protocols for your people in those situations might very well be the most important business decision you ever make. Emergency response plans save lives, time and money. Create yours today.