When you’re running your own business, it can be easy to forget about the emergency action plan (EAP). You might have created one years ago, before you even opened the doors to your business. It’s important that you revisit this plan every once in a while, especially when there are changes in your staff or your facility. This can help make sure that everyone who works for your company knows what to do in case of an emergency, from fires and floods to disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes.
What is an emergency action plan?
An emergency action plan is a set of instructions that will help you and your family get through an emergency. It includes the things you need to do when a disaster occurs, like what to do if there’s a fire, tornado or flood in your home. The best thing to do is create an emergency action plan for each member of the household. Talk about it with your children so they know what to do if something happens.
How to develop a home fire escape plan
Developing a home fire escape plan will help you and your family feel more prepared in the event of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association says that having an escape plan is the best way to ensure you can get out safely. Here are some steps to take to create your own emergency action plan:
1) Mark two ways out of each room (a window and a door). 2) Practice what you’ll do when there’s a fire by closing all doors and windows, running outside, yelling Fire! and going back in. 3) Create a meeting place outside of the house where everyone should gather once they have exited. 4) Draw or write instructions for anyone who might not be able to read or who is disabled or injured.
Take the time now – you’ll be glad later
Reviewing your emergency action plan is an important step in preparing for a disaster. This can range from anything as small as a power outage to a major flood or hurricane. As the saying goes, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. There are many different things that can happen that require an emergency action plan – so it’s important to know what you will do in case of various disasters. For example, if there was a fire in your home, you would need to evacuate immediately and take all necessary necessities with you.
Reviewing your emergency action plan will help ensure that you are prepared in any situation.
Have your family practice the escape plan
1) Practice the escape plan with your family.
2) Choose a meeting place outside of your home, in case of emergency, and share it with your family members.
3) Teach your kids how to call 9-1-1 and identify themselves as an emergency caller.
4) Sit down together and review what to do if there is an earthquake, fire or other type of disaster at home.
5) Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be the designated contact person for the family in case of an emergency.
Make sure your emergency exits are clear at all times
In the event of a fire or other emergency, your emergency action plan will be one of the most important resources you have. It’s critical that your employees are aware of it and they’re trained to use it. This includes not only knowing what to do in the event of an emergency, but also knowing where to go and how to get there.
Keep in mind that fires can often happen without warning, so make sure you take steps now to review your emergency action plan with all of your employees and have them sign off on it.
Keep your pet safe in case of fire
For starters, have a backup plan for your pet in the event of an emergency. If you need to evacuate, at least you know that your furry friend is taken care of. Most importantly, be sure to include an escape route for your dog or cat that avoids any dangers such as smoke and fire. Remember that they are just as scared as you are and their instincts may cause them to bolt from the house if they’re not on a leash when things happen. One more thing: make sure that everyone in the family knows about this plan so that it’s easier to execute if there’s ever a time when it needs to be used.
Document all of your exit routes and make maps for your emergency kits
During a disaster, it is easy to get tunnel vision and forget about what you need to do next. However, if you know in advance where you’re headed, it is easier for your brain to follow the plan. It’s also important that your loved ones know what you will do in case of an emergency so they don’t worry.
Since it’s best to be prepared before an emergency happens, make sure your emergency kits are stocked with items such as warm clothes and water bottles (one liter per person). In addition, pack a flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries and matches (in waterproof containers). If you have children at home, pack their favorite toy or comfort item too.