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No matter how well we prepare, emergencies can and will happen. Natural disasters are more prevalent in some areas than others, leading to things such as fires and flooding. There are also chemical spills and gas releases. That’s not even accounting for workplace violence and civil disturbances.

For that reason, having an emergency action plan is of the utmost importance. After all, when things go awry, you need to have a plan to ensure that people remain calm and safe throughout the emergency. Here are a few things your action plan should have.

Escape Routes

No matter the work site, there should always be a path to escape. Whether it be fire, chemical spills, or violence, there should be predesignated paths to exit the building. Route assignments are also a helpful manner of executing these plans.

Medical/Rescue Duties

The goal in an emergency is to get medical and rescue professionals on the scene. That said, it takes them some time before they arrive. Having duties assigned to workers can help to bridge that gap before the professionals arrive.

Procedures for Those Who Remain

While the goal is to get everyone out quickly and safely, there should also be procedures in place for any employees who need to remain to perform or shut down essential plant operations, perform essential services, or operate fire extinguishers. There are some services that simply cannot be shut down in the event of an emergency alarm.

Contact Information

It is also helpful to designate titles and distribute contact information for individuals both inside and outside of the company that can be contacted for additional information. These individuals would also have extra responsibilities related to emergency events.

Secure Document Storage

Most businesses have onsite storage for their records. That said, there should be a secure onsite or offsite storage location where duplicates are kept. This way a company is not left completely lost in the event that a fire destroys one set of copies or leaves them unusable in the future.