While emergency preparedness needs may vary from season to season, depending on whether the risk is coming from hurricanes, snowstorms, wildfires, or tornados, one thing remains constant: the need to keep your emergency preparedness program fresh and up to date.
It’s spring, so while the risks of snowstorms may be receding, hurricane and tornado seasons are approaching, and now is the perfect time to review your emergency response plans for these types of disasters, as well as emergencies that have no season, such as workplace accidents, power, and network outages or workplace violence.
Emergency Preparedness Is a Good Investment
Planning for emergencies is one of the most important tasks a business can engage in. Essentially, it’s an investment in the business, business continuity, worker safety, and prevention of legal violations that can result in fines. While every business hopes they’ll never need to use their emergency preparedness plans, having a solid plan in place ensures that workers feel more comfortable doing their jobs and the company will experience minimal disruptions to operations in the event of an emergency. Like insurance, emergency preparedness is an investment that can save your business money in the long run, as well as protect your workers, who are your company’s most valuable asset.
Emergency preparedness experts recommend that you take the time to evaluate your current plan with the following steps.
Evaluate your needs. Since the last time you implemented a plan, your needs may have changed. You may have a bigger workforce or a new business line that involves different machinery and technology. You may be offering new services, or have moved or expanded to new facilities. Are your emergency plans still up to date in light of these changes? If not, it’s time to reevaluate them.
Ensure new workers are current with safety guidelines. While your veteran employees may be clear on what to do in weather or another emergency, your new hires may not be. Ensure that emergency preparedness is part of your employee onboarding program.
Identify and evaluate your existing safety and communication technologies. Are your systems current? Have you added any new safety systems to your plan? If so, workers need to be informed and trained on how to use them. Are your emergency preparedness solutions out of date? It may be time to update them. In the Internet age, this means putting in place solutions that will work in the event of a network crash or outage. In addition, to manage the emergency from a centralized platform, it’s a good idea to integrate all your existing safety systems onto a single platform with emergency alerting capabilities. Newer solutions will also allow you to customize your response, depending on the nature of the emergency.
Expand communications. The more communication in the event of an emergency, the better. Ensure your emergency response system allows for open communications both internally and with external parties, such as emergency response personnel, utilities, partner companies, and more.
Consult with a professional workplace safety organization. In Southern California, Unishield has been providing businesses with the highest quality emergency preparedness, safety training, and compliance solutions for employers. In addition, Unishield offers first aid kits and medical supplies, first aid restocking services, industrial safety equipment, and portable emergency medical equipment such as the lifesaving AED (automatic external defibrillator). Call 800-480-5855.