Emergency preparedness is a key part of every business owner’s duties. If you’re not sure how your crisis plan compares to other companies’, make sure to cover these essential components.
1. Calling Emergency Services
When an emergency happens, what is your protocol for calling for help? Should employees use their cell phones, or do you prefer them to use your landline? Is your smoke alarm connected to your fire department’s system, or do you need to call 911 after pulling it? Whichever rules you have, make sure to post your address throughout the building so that employees can give it to emergency services.
2. Dealing With the Aftermath
Once emergency services have dealt with the disaster, what comes next? If the incident involves people suffering, your other employees or customers may be traumatized. Think about what counseling services you could offer at work, and check if your insurance company covers therapy. If the accident damaged your building, you must ensure that no further accidents result from the disaster. For example, if you have hazardous chemicals, have a company perform plastic welding repairs on cracked containers. Otherwise, you risk a chemical leak, which would start another emergency.
3. Assessing Your Response
You must have standards for assessing your response to each emergency. Make these metrics on your own or ask your county officials or fire department for help. After an emergency ends, evaluate your response based on these guidelines. For example, after a smoke alarm goes off, how many people use the correct evacuation route and how many run to a different exit? These assessments help you tweak your safety protocols and prepare your employees for future problems.
Thinking about emergencies is stressful, but it’s part of your job as a business owner. By thinking through these three topics, you prioritize your employees’ and customers’ safety.