Developing Emergency Response Plans for Small Businesses

Being a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of the employees working in your company. Disasters and emergencies like fire and earthquake can occur any moment without warning. Being prepared can help you handle these situations by minimizing confusion and panic. Small businesses lose a lot more than larger companies when such disasters occur. Due to lack of resources and high costs, many small businesses do not place proper emergency plans and some do not have them at all.

Employers can develop good emergency response plan that will adequately meet their business needs. When developing the emergency response plan for your employees, you need to consider several factors such as the type of business you are operating, the nature of your location, and work environment.

You can start developing your plan based on three important elements.

  • The current preparation of your business to handle emergencies.
  • Procedures that have already been placed for emergencies.
  • Occurrence of potential emergencies.

Guidelines for effective emergency response

The following basic guidelines can help you develop an effective emergency response plan suitable for your business.

  • Consider the conditions that would need a necessary evacuation.
  • Designate secondary and primary emergency exit and evacuation routes. Ensure that these routes are well lit and clearly marked. In case of a power outage during the emergency situation, install emergency lights for evacuation.
  • Make sure that the emergency exit and evacuation routes are sufficiently wide to help the people evacuate without an obstruction.
  • Share the plan with local emergency management offices. Take their advice about additional safety installments.
  • Elect ‘evacuation personnel’ who can help people during the evacuation. You can hire professionals for this job or select an able person from the office, who has some experience in this field.
  • Emergency drills should be held once a year to make sure all your employees know the procedure for evacuation during an emergency. The drills will also help you assess the effectiveness of your emergency routes and exits.
  • Emergency supplies such as medical kits, water, and food should be available at all times.

Training and education

Your employees need to be educated about the different types of emergencies that can occur. Training should be provided to handle these situations in a proper manner. Ensure that your employees understand all the elements of the emergency response plan and have confidence on the person who will be assisting them during the emergency.

Emergency education should be given to let your employees know their responsibilities during an emergency. Your employees should be able to recognize the dos and don’ts in an emergency situation, like avoiding the kitchen area and windows during a fire or taking the stairs instead of elevators during an earthquake.

Inform everyone about contact numbers for different emergency services such as the ambulance, fire station, police, and hospital.

Medical utilities

Sometimes medical services may not arrive soon after a disaster. In such cases, you should always have medical supplies ready for dealing with injuries. It is also good if you or any of your employees are trained in basic emergency procedures. Complete first-aid kits and knowledge of emergency procedures can help save lives if there are no medical professionals around.

An emergency response plan is vital for all type of business. It can not only help save office personnel but also business property like important files and equipments.

About the Author: Penny is an expert associated with services like emergency response and professional answering services. If you are considering hiring emergency response services, go for AnswerPlus that offers top-of-the-line services for the same. 


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