Phil Harding wrote, “we can’t always control what happens but we can control our response.” This is particularly true in the case of emergencies. Emergencies can arise out of nowhere in the times we least expect them.

The way we respond in the first few minutes of an emergency can either mitigate harm or make matters worse. For this reason, it’s critical for businesses to have an emergency operations plan. Businesses should also ensure their emergency response plan is up to date.

Out-of-date plans may fail to meet changing regulatory requirements. The International Facility Management Association writes, “out-of-date plans, with out-of-date training, and no recent drills will not be treated politely by regulators and jurors.”

emegency-response-plan-binderIt’s important to not only have an emergency response plan, but to keep an up-to-date plan for your business to protect your employees, customers, and your investment. Below are some tips for creating and maintaining a plan of action.

Conduct a risk assessment

Ready, a national public service campaign, says conducting a risk assessment is the first step in developing an emergency plan. A risk assessment does two things: First, it looks at potential hazards. These could be natural hazards, human-caused hazards, or technological hazards. Second, it analyzes the potential impact of those hazards. For example, a fire could cause lost lives and property damage.

Protect against life-threatening circumstances

Once you’ve taken stock of all possible dangers, evaluate which dangers have the potential to put lives in danger. The first step of your emergency response plan should be to address these threats.

As each emergency has its own nuances, it’ll be helpful to create a flowchart-styled response plan. For example, in the event of a fire, you’ll want to have an evacuation plan, whereas in the event of an intruder, you’ll want to have a lock-down plan.

With most emergencies, you’ll want to either evacuate the scene, take shelter, or secure the building. Here are some resources that can help you plan for each emergency response protocol.

Evacuation: Exit Routes (OSHA)

Security: Alarm Systems (OSHA)

Shelter: Safe Rooms (FEMA)

Communicate effectively

Once you’ve developed a mitigation plan for life-threatening emergencies, you’ll need to think about how you’ll communicate effectively in the stress of the moment. You’ll want to have a plan for how to communicate both internally and externally.

Internally, you’ll need to set up training days to prepare staff and faculty. Communicating your response plan through drills is one of the most effective ways to prepare employees for emergency situations. Additionally, you’ll need to have a communication plan for when the emergency occurs. Do you have an intercom, fire alarm system, etc.? How will employees and patrons know what to do amidst the chaos?

Externally, you’ll want to prepare the information you’ll need to deliver to an emergency dispatcher. Police and fire departments will be able to help your organization much more effectively if you are prepared to give them the information they require.

Get back to normal

After you’ve come up with a plan you’ll follow to reduce harm while the emergency is occurring, there’s only one thing left to do. That is, come up with a plan to deal with the aftermath of the emergency. Hurricanes result in water damage, fires can leave scorches and ashes everywhere: These situations are messy, complex, and are a lot to handle.

Most businesses can’t afford to go extensive amounts of time without generating revenue, so it’s important to get back to business as usual promptly. One of the best ways to do this is to partner with a trusted restoration contractor.

Restoration contractors specialize in restoring buildings (and their contents) that are damaged by fire, water, storms, and even vandalism. They are professionals and restore buildings cost-effectively and efficiently. For this reason, partnering with a trusted contractor is a great way to ensure that in the event of an emergency, your organization will be back to running normally as quickly as possible.

Partner with Alpha Omega

Here at Alpha Omega, we understand the stress that emergencies can put on businesses. We try to alleviate some of that stress by taking charge of your Montana restoration process from beginning to end. We’ll even work directly with your insurance company, keeping the process smooth and hassle-free.

Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration today 406-628-0178 for emergency property damage cleanup and restoration services by Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration of Billings and Laurel, MontanaIf you’re in the process of creating an emergency response plan or are updating a plan you already have, we’d love to be your restoration partner. Contact us today!