When you are building an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that is going to be thorough, it’s important to remember that there are more emergency situations than you can possibly imagine and not all of them are from natural disasters. Today’s power outage in San Francisco shines a light on the fact that companies need to ensure that they are adequately prepared for every single emergency situation, regardless of how minor it may seem. From a power outage to an active shooter, your EAP should cover all the bases.
Aside From Natural Disasters, What Should I Plan for?
When you are trying to build a successful EAP, making sure that you have planned for every type of hazardous situation is important. If your EAP only focuses on natural disasters, then you will find yourself unprepared and likely in violation of OSHA’s minimum requirements for EAPs.
A good EAP should include how to handle the following hazards:
- Geological hazards (landslide, earthquake, etc.)
- Meteorological hazards (snow storm, hurricane, flood, etc.)
- Biological hazards (pandemic diseases, etc.)
- Human caused accidental events (fire, structural collapse, hazardous material spill, etc.)
- Human caused intentional events (hostage incident, bomb threat, terrorism, etc.)
- Technology caused events (utility interruption, electrical power, sewerage system, etc.)
Notice how in the list above, there are four categories for emergencies other than natural disasters and there are two categories dedicated to natural disasters. With such a broad list and every hazard being equally as important as the next, how do you build an EAP that covers everything?
Since there are so many hazards that can disrupt a workday, it’s important to make sure that all of your bases are covered when you are creating an EAP. On that same note, including every single potential hazard in your EAP and keeping it updated would be a long and challenging process, especially for large companies. That’s why using an all hazards approach is a best practice. Using an all hazards approach allows you to plan for what type of effect the threat will have on the company rather than planning for each specific threat.
The All Hazards Approach Covers:
- Loss of Facility
- Loss or Failure of Information Technology (IT)
- Reduced Workforce
- Reputational Event
In addition to using the all hazards approach to ensure that you are prepared for all emergencies aside from natural disasters, you also need to make sure that all important information about the building, employees, etc. is included as well.
The following should information should also be included in your EAP:
- Evacuation procedures, escape routes and floor plans
- Employee information such as notifying parents, guardians or next of kin
- Policies for updating and maintaining the EAP
- Locations of important utility information
- Accounting for all employees after an emergency
- Important rescue/medical procedures for remaining employees
If you are unsure of how to build an actionable EAP with the all hazards approach while trying to manage other responsibilities? Consider companies like Preparis who are able to be your all-in-one solution. With experts to help you write the plan and software to help you manage your plan, they can save you time and energy and mitigate the impact of any business interruption.
To read more about the services Preparis offers, click here.
To read more about Preparis iQ – a software tool that can help you manage your plans and compliance – click here.
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