What are some things we need to consider in the event of an emergency?
No matter what the season, there are natural disasters we need to be ready for: tornadoes, severe storms, flooding, snow, and ice. Unfortunately, we also need to be prepared for the unforeseen emergencies such as workplace violence or an active shooter event. It is critical for companies to prepare for emergency situations – events as small as a temporary power outage to major disasters like a tornado hitting the workplace. One important planning tool is to develop a Business Emergency Preparedness and Resumption Plan detailing your company’s commitment to the safety and protection of employees and the public.
An Emergency Preparedness Plan should contain information including, but not limited to:
- Identifying the hazards that the business could face (natural, technological disasters, civil emergencies, pandemic, workplace violence, active shooter event, and other business interruptions).
- Detailed instructions on how emergency response and recovery actions will be organized by position and within what timeframe.
- Maintaining emergency contact information for company staff.
- Identifying a minimum of two (2) emergency contact persons for your business.
- Determining orders of succession/Human Capital Management (HCM) to ensure leadership as well as essential function sustainability during an emergency to obtain business resumption.
- Identifying who will be named as “in charge” during an emergency situation to ensure continuous leadership authority and responsibility.
- Determining the company’s essential functions (i.e., functions that should be resumed within 12 hours of a disruption and be able to continue for at least 30 days following a disruption).
- Describing the vital records and databases that are necessary to complete the essential functions identified in the plan.
- Identifying an alternate location where your business can carry out the identified essential functions during an emergency.
- Information cross referencing other necessary documents such as emergency evacuation plans, shut down procedures, and federal requirements under The Homeland Security Act, etc.
These are just some areas that should be examined when developing a thorough Business Emergency Preparedness and Resumption Plan, but it is also imperative that once the program is in place it is periodically reviewed and evaluated.
It’s not negative thinking to plan for a devastating event that could harm employees or impact your company’s ability to function – in fact it’s a good business practice. Bad things happen, but it’s how we prepare for and recover from a disastrous event that often leads to success or failure. Strategic HR, inc. has a variety of resources to help you prepare for such emergencies. Visit our Health, Safety & Security page to learn more about how we can help you with your Emergency Preparedness needs OR pick up our Emergency Preparedness Toolkit and do-it-yourself.