Are you ready for an emergency? If there was a fire, a flood, an earthquake, or an accident tomorrow, would everyone in your organization know what to do?
If you couldn’t respond to those questions with an emphatic “Yes!”, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many employers put emergency preparedness on the backburner: it takes time and effort, it can be difficult to know where to start, and since it’s not something that comes up daily, it’s easy to put off.
Let’s be honest, lots of things (most things, in fact) are more fun to talk about than emergency planning. But putting employee well being first means having the basics in place to safeguard the lives of those who work for you if the unthinkable happens. It’s easy to tell yourself “That could never happen here”, but the reality is, it could! And though it’s not fun to speculate on disasters striking close to home, recent flooding across the country only further highlights the importance of emergency planning.
Not sure where to start? Follow the steps below to get your organization’s emergency planning back on track.
Step 1. Know the risks. Risks and hazards can vary based on where you live. On the West Coast, for example, earthquakes are a big risk, while further north blizzards might be a more of a prevalent threat. Check out the government of Canada’s Get Prepared website to familiarize yourself with the risks in your region, and how to prepare for them.
Step 2. Have a kit. If you don’t already, now’s the time to make sure you have an emergency kit on hand in your workplace. Take the time to make sure everyone is familiar with its contents, location, and use. Whether you go with a ready-made option or assemble one yourself (this list is a good resource), take a few minutes and kick off your next staff meeting for an emergency kit show and tell.
Step 3. Create a plan. Even though no one likes to dwell on the negative, talking through possibilities and detailing a plan is an important part of being prepared for emergencies. Discuss various scenarios and develop your team’s action plan. A good emergency action plan means that everyone is clear on roles and responsibilities if disaster strikes.
Want more info? Check out WorkSafe BC for more details on how to create an emergency action plan for your business.
Step 4. Keep it fresh. It’s easy to get complacent and dismiss emergency planning. Set calendar reminders to alert you when it’s time to revisit your action plans with your team. It doesn’t have to be complicated – circulate a simple reminder of fire escape routes, an interesting article on what to do if an earthquake hits, or even a cheesy disaster preparedness video to keep emergency planning top of mind.
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Emergency preparedness not your organization’s forte? Emergency Preparedness Week is the perfect time to make it a priority. Keep emergency planning straightforward by following the steps above, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions – you know how to find us!