Your Team's Emergency Response Plan

6 min

In a time of crisis,

a thorough plan will make all the difference.

Whatever the disaster, every Emergency Response Plan should cover five main areas:

1. Response leaders


Designate office response leaders who will cue shelter or evacuation, coordinate communication and a head count, and make sure that disabled employees are safely sheltered or evacuated.

2. Shelter/

evacuation strategy


Once leaders signal response, all employees should know exactly where to go and what to do. Your plan should be specific to your own work site and include evacuation routes, safe zones, and an agreed-upon assembly point.

3. Emergency supplies


To prepare employees to shelter in place or navigate a blackout, keep appropriate supplies in an accessible location. Some basics include: flashlights with batteries, one gallon of water per employee, nonperishable food, and a medical kit.

4. Communication 

channels


To confirm safety after the disaster, have a communication plan in place. If employees have evacuated the building, response leaders should
gather a head count. If employees go home — such as during a power outage or a winter storm — set a contact protocol to confirm their safety as soon as possible.

5. Review/

practice schedule


Update and review your response plans as a full organization annually. Once all employees understand the plan, t
ake a cue from Morgan Stanley: drill early and often. Practice your key response drills every three to six months.

Does your team have a thorough Emergency Response Plan?


Download this checklist.

Time for a quiz.


Erica created an Emergency Response Plan for a hurricane with designated leaders, supplies, evacuation guidelines, and communication channels. She circulated the PDF with her team and feels really good about it. What is Erica missing?

Quiz 1 of 1

What is Erica's Emergency Action Plan missing?

a
She still needs to do more research into the fastest escape routes in her building, and update accordingly.
b
She still needs to thoroughly test her employees to find out who will be the best emergency response leaders.
c
She still needs to bring her plan to a hurricane specialist for approval.
d
She still needs to review and practice the plan regularly with her team so that people know their response.

The correct answer is D.


Even if Erica's hurricane response plan is perfect, it won't be effective unless everyone understands it.


With a thorough plan in place,

your team will be prepared for any disaster.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP:



For more guidance on creating your Emergency Response Plan, check out the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s
Emergency Response Plan template.

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