Emergency Response Planning
Experts, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend that businesses prepare for an emergency. If you have more than 10 employees, you need a written plan. The plan should include training and drills so all your employees are familiar with what to do if something undexpected happens.
The Society for Human Resource Management in Washington emailed a survey to its members after September 11th and found that 33% of the members do not have a disaster plan and 13% are not sure if they have one. How does your organization rate?
Employees with little to no training or resources will not perform effectively in a disaster. When something unexpected happens, trained personnel feel more confident about handling the crisis they are involved in. Even the unimaginable seems easier to handle if you know what to do and have some control over the situation around you. Effective emergency plans train employees to perform tasks. They hear what might happen and learn about what they might see!
To keep it in perspective, consider that 75% of all terrorist acts are explosions. The bio-terrorism anthrax scare of 2001 put many people in the hospital and killed five. Every year the flu virus sends tens of thousands to the hospital and kills tens more.
When preparing for disasters keep in mind that there are two types: natural disasters and unnatural disasters. Natural disasters include acts of God such as tornados, severe weather, ice storms, and floods. Unnatural disasters include such things as fires, explosions, and hazardous materials, which may be caused by bio-terrorism. Keep in mind that planning for hazardous materials is very important, but don’t just focus on bio-terrorism. Our community has over 280 hazardous materials going through our communities on trucks and trains every week.
It’s important to plan for many kinds of disasters. It’s great to practice tornado preparedness year after year, but if your community experiences more hazardous material incidents than tornatoes, managing those spills should also be part of your emergency preparedness plan.
What you can do:
Designate team members from management to maintenance to respond to a crisis
Include the following agencies in your plan: police, fire, emergency medical service, emergency government and public health. Train to do the tasks and be honest about what could occur.
Put Critical Incident Stress Management and EAP in place. EAP and Critical Incident Stress Management are a must to include in all emergency plans. Sometimes in life we are not prepared to deal with psychological effects of some situations.
Are you prepared for a natural or unnatural disaster or are you one of the 46% that doesn’t have a plan? It is never too late so start planning today.
For more information, questions or concerns, please contact Brian Lawson at 920.727.3020 or through email at email@example.com. Gold Cross Ambulance provides consulting and training services throughout the state.