It's easy to get separated from co-workers at work, or family members at home, during an emergency or disaster. The best way to ensure that everyone comes back together safely, is through emergency planning.
Knowing where to go, where to meet, people to call, etc. in different situations can all be figured out before the emergency or disaster strikes.
There are three critical elements:
- Communications Plan: This is a list of contact details for people in your home, office, or school, as well as contact information for people outside of your area that you can call to let know you are ok and your location. A good communications plan is a must!
- Emergency Plans: Know what plans are in place at work in school for all hazards, and make your own emergency and disaster plans for home, work, and school.
- Where is our meeting place or rally point?
- What's the quickest and safest way to get out at home, work, or school?
- Where do we shelter-in-place at home, work, or school?
- Is there a safe place to hide during an active shooter incident?
- What do I do if there is a fire or hazmat spill?
- What do I do if there is a power outage or utility failure?
- What do I do if there is a medical emergency?
- Do I have a commuter emergency plan?
- Practice Makes Perfect: Having a plan is great, but ensuring that you, your family, and co-workers know the plans, and practice those plans, is key to effective preparedness.
- Talk about plans so that everyone understands them, and knows what to do.
- Practice, using drills, the elements of the plans, so that it becomes instinct.
- Revise plans after an incident, or at least annually, to ensure that they will still work for you, your family, and co-workers.