Aug 06

Prepare for Disaster

Fire drills aren’t just for kids. A group of ordinarily rational and intelligent adults will act like a bunch of six year olds, running around in circles when disaster strikes. Hopefully, you’ll never have to experience an emergency, but it’s worthwhile to set up an evacuation plan just in case you do.

Recognize the types of disasters that are likely to occur based on your location and the types of activities that take place in your building, and plan accordingly. For example, you probably don’t need to plan for a tsunami if you live in Iowa, but you will want to plan against toxic chemical spills if you work in a lab.

Consult your building manager for an evacuation route. He or she should be able to provide you with a floor plan and help you determine evacuation routes that may be dependent on the disaster type. Post the plans throughout your building or office so employees can familiarize themselves with the plan before the disaster strikes, and designate a meeting area outside the building.

Assign people tasks that will need to be done in the case of an emergency including someone to count heads, someone to perform first aid if needed, and someone to alert the police and fire department.

You might also want to consider copying important documents and keeping them together in place where they can be easily grabbed as you flee the building. Documents may not be the biggest priority when evacuating a building, but after the fact, you’ll be happy that you have one less hassle.

Practice your plan. Run regular drills so that if there is an emergency, evacuation will run smoothly and without questions.