Hurricane Preparedness for Businesses: What Should An Emergency Plan Include?
When developing an emergency action plan, it’s a good idea to look at the variety of potential emergencies that could occur in your workplace, such as hurricanes in North Florida. The plan should be tailored to your worksite and, if you have more than one worksite, each site should have an emergency action plan.
At a minimum, your emergency action plan should include the following:
- A preferred method for reporting emergencies
- An evacuation policy and procedures
- Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plan, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas
- Names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan
- Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shut down critical plant operations, or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm before evacuating, and
- Rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them
You may also want to consider designating an assembly location and procedures to account for all employees after an evacuation.
In addition, although they are not specifically required by OSHA, you may find it helpful to include in your plan the following:
-The site of an alternative communications center to be used in the event of a fire or explosion; and
-A secure on- or offsite location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees’ emergency contact lists, and other essential records.
According to FEMA, forty percent of businesses won’t re-open following a natural disaster impact. Having an emergency plan will help ensure your business survives and your employees stay safe.