Emergency Management Planning
As storms become more extreme, increased threats exist. Without an emergency response or emergency action plan (often called a business continuity plan with the emergency response or action plan as an extension of the business continuity plan) your business will not as easily be able to survive or revive after a natural disaster occurs.
Emergencies and disasters can occur anytime, anyplace without warning. By being prepared, you will be better able to act, minimizing the panic and confusion in the emergency situation and protect your workers. Emergencies and disasters influenced by outside sources such as weather or non-employees or other uncontrollable sources need to be addressed in your action planning process to ensure the safety of your workers and the continuance of your business.
For businesses that are able, set up for business continuity outside of the physical location – a satellite offices/locations, working from home, remote offices/locations etc. If one location is down you can continue to work. If you server is backed up in multiple locations in multiple cities your data is backed up and you can continue to work but if it is in one location, you may be down for weeks, months or indefinitely.
Sample steps to take in the development of your Emergency Response Plan are:
- hazard identification risk assessment
- identification of emergency resources
- development of your communication system
- development of an administration plan
- emergency response policy, procedure and program
- communication of policy, procedures and program
- debriefing and post-traumatic stress procedure
- rebuilding, restructuring, and regrouping (what that might entail if the business is partially or totally destroyed)
Accountability is important in the emergency response program you develop. Set up an Emergency Response Team. Ensure that your team is properly trained in their roles and responsibilities. Train all staff in emergency procedures.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act refer to emergency planning that is required for your workplace under certain jurisdictions; in Ontario – for example: in Ontario under Bill 168 Violence and Harassment and in BC under OHSA 4.13-4.18 - beyond that it is a good business practice to have a Business Continuity Plan in place.
The Templates alone comes with 2 hours of assistance via phone over a two month period.