No organization wants to be caught up in a disaster, but every organization needs to be prepared just in case.
Therefore it’s critical to develop an effective disaster or crisis response strategy, no matter what industry your organization is involved in or what your geographic location is. You might focus more on more likely threats for example if you are based in an area prone to hurricanes or tornados, but other crises shouldn’t be discounted or ignored just because they haven’t happened in your area before.
Organizations must be able to respond quickly and competently should an emergency situation unfold. Having a response plan in place and ensuring staff members are both prepared and trained to respond to the emergency at hand are key to being successful.
Training staff in advance can, quite simply, mean the difference between life and death. Instead of being thrown in at the deep end in a real life emergency situation, your employees will be more prepared to handle the situation, and therefore more likely to survive.
It empowers employees to meet dangerous challenges with increased confidence, and they can feel more assured of their capabilities when responding to a real event.
Training also helps your employees to follow emergency plans which reduces the incidence of injuries and fatalities and also reduces damage to buildings, facilities and other property.
Proper emergency response training also gives your employees instruction and guidance in using safety equipment such as hose reels, fire extinguishers and fire blankets which saves time in an actual emergency.
It’s important that every single employee in your organization understands what to do in an emergency through education, training, drills, and written policies and procedures.
They should know how to sound an alarm in the event of an emergency and know how to respond when one is activated. They should know which evacuation route they are expected to use.
Employers have a responsibility to keep employees safe in the workplace, even when an unexpected disaster occurs. When it comes to training your staff in emergency preparedness, you should cover:
- Employees’ individual roles and responsibilities.
- The range of threats and hazards that could occur in your environment.
- Protective actions that should be taken in your environment.
- The notification, warning and communications procedures that your organization uses so employees can familiarize themselves with the systems and know what sorts of messages to look out for. For example, do you use a dedicated communications channel such as DeskAlerts to send pop-up notifications when there is a disaster?
- Emergency response procedures.
- Procedures around evacuation, sheltering in place and accountability.
- The location and use of the emergency equipment in your organization.
- Any emergency shutdown procedures.
- Methods for locating family members and next of kin during an emergency.