Preparing for Emergency Situations

Employers can be temporarily or permanently shaken by all manner of emergencies – natural disasters such as earthquakes, fire, power outages, and even contagious diseases such as swine flu. Large-scale crises pose legal issues that should be considered and prepared for by HR and Management.

A systematic plan should be set in place in case of an emergency situation. The purpose of emergency action plans is to provide written instructions that will help to protect employees during emergencies.

A company disaster preparedness plan should consider the following steps:

  • Put together evacuation procedures like routinely conducting evacuation drills (as well as fire drills).
  • Plan emergency action routes with a detailed map of a meeting place and where the medical and first aid kits are located and update periodically.
  • Update emergency contact information annually for each employee.
  • Post a written copy of your emergency action plan for all employees. Consider and plan for specific things like how your IT department should follow steps to protect and operate technology systems during an evacuation, all employees should be informed about what to do when a disaster strikes. Reassess the means and manner in which critical information is stored, both physically and electronically, to prevent irreparable physical damage from crippling the company’s operations.
  • Review existing insurance policies, and modify your coverage where necessary or prudent.