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5 Steps To Emergency Preparedness For Any Disaster
  Whether it’s a fire, flood, shooting, power outage, or other situation, emergencies unfortunately hit the headlines often enough that the subject of preparedness is no longer limited to security and facility professionals.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there are common elements that should be addressed in the creation of aemergency response plan.
Here are five steps that facility and security managers can use to help guide emergency planning.
1. Know your risks
Using a risk matrix to evaluate all the potential emergencies your facility may face will give you a head start on many things, including being prepared to meet with management in support of any funding requests for emergency preparedness.
2. Build a team
Many emergency response plans are created in a vacuum, with no input from the end users. That’s the wrong approach to take. In today’s environment, every individual in the organization may have a role as a kind of first responder, who is expected to follow the rule, “see something, say something.” Emergency plans should be the product of an inclusive team instead of a single individual or group.
Putting together a team of subject matter experts from different departments helps in determining the overall span of the plan, including a cycle of the four phases of emergency management:
Mitigation. Preventing emergencies and minimizing the effects if an event occurs.
Preparedness. Identified efforts to prepare for the event.
Response. Plans and efforts to respond safely to the event.
Recovery. Actions needed to return the facility to normal operations.
3. Make critical information quickly accessible
When the time comes to write a plan, the thinking is sometimes that the bigger the document, the better. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Plans need to be concise as to the threat, the risk, and then what to do. Many facilities create a hard copy, full length emergency plan, and then use small “flipcharts” or spiral-bound, hand-size, notepad-type inserts that outline each potential risk or emergency, and then show who to call, with numbers and what occupants should do for their own safety and safety of others.
4. Update your alert and response procedures
Before the days of active shooters, terrorism, and lone offenders and the advent of social media dominating our daily lives, it used to be that an emergency plan consisted of calling 911 and waiting for the police or fire department to arrive, or pulling the fire alarm, evacuating, and waiting for the first responders to arrive. This is no longer the case. Plans need to be specific and to the point, with everyone involved knowing what may happen and what to do.
5. Test the plan
Once the plan has been created, the next question is, will it work? How do you know? The answer is a series of tests or tabletops, drills, and exercises designed to go through procedures that you are expected to know.
Two methods are most cost effective: the first is lecture and response sessions and the second is tabletops. Segmented drills, exercises, and full blown drills incorporating many first responder outside agencies are performed after you are comfortable with the results of the lecture and tabletop sessions.
Article Source: http://www.facilitiesnet.com/emergencypreparedness/article/5-Steps-To-Emergency-Preparedness-For-Any-Disaster--17186
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