The Importance of Emergency Planning

The actions taken in the initial moments after a crisis matter. These steps can determine how disruptive the aftermath will be. With this in mind, companies need to plan for any potential incidents that could occur. In this blog post, we discuss the importance of emergency planning, the impact it has on a crisis and how to prepare for the worst.

What is emergency planning?

Emergency planning is the course of action a company takes in order to minimise the effects of an incident or crisis. The main objective of emergency planning is to reduce injuries, protect the community and maintain business continuity. 

An emergency plan usually includes necessary procedures during a crisis, a clear set of roles and responsibilities and established instructions for local emergency response and recovery bodies. These is a crucial part of  keeping staff safe. 

Types of emergencies and disasters to prepare for

An emergency situation can arise at any time and with it comes panic, confusion and fear. All companies have a responsibility to adhere to health and safety legislation which requires businesses to identify and mitigate any risk to their employees. 

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 requires for organisations in the health system (emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies) to prepare for adverse events and incidents. Being prepared for a crisis demonstrates good business conduct and can help companies recover quicker from an incident. 

Terrorism

The current threat level in the UK from international terrorism is set as ‘severe’ meaning that a terrorist attack is highly likely. The unpredictability surrounding terrorist attacks make them much more dangerous and can cause fear amongst staff, especially those working in cities or buildings that are likely to be targeted and those travelling for work. 

The very nature of terrorism means that attacks take us by surprise and often cause unprecedented periods of panic and downtime for businesses and their workforce. In order to minimise this, businesses should prepare both the company and staff for an attack. Informing employees and management of the necessary steps to be taken both during and after an attack can help to lessen unease amongst the organisation and prevent harm if an attack occurs. 

Fires

Fires are one of the main disasters that affect businesses around the world and according to the Association of British Insurers, roughly 60% of private businesses that experience a fire never recover.

Not only are fires costly due to the high level of damage they cause, they are also life threatening. 

Every company is required by law to have proper fire procedures that are known to all staff members. Companies should provide proper training to all employees notifying them of the emergency fire exits, recovery meeting areas and necessary steps to be taken if a fire should break out. Practicing these steps with fire drills can help to keep your staff aware and prepared should the worst happen. 

One of the main concerns when a fire breaks out is establishing as quickly as possible who is in the building at the time. Although there are ways to determine this using standard sign in and out procedures, it can be time consuming and due to human error, unreliable. Couple this with the standard disorder any incident brings and locating your employees can be near on impossible. 

Using technology for Emergency planning 

With the influx of new technological advancements, managing the safety of staff members during a critical event is changing. IncidentEye is an easy to use tech-based solution that allows organisations to communicate with and locate employees during an emergency. 

Comprised of an app and online hub, IncidentEye allows organisations to immediately identify who is in the vicinity of an incident. Managers can prompt the affected employees to specify whether they are safe or in danger. Unlike traditional methods of manually calling each employee, IncidentEye allows you to monitor large teams making the process quicker and more effective. 

Communications can then be sent to employees depending on their location or safety status, advising them on what to do or updating them on the situation. Employee safety status can be viewed and acted on in real time. With IncidentEye, you can answer the question ‘are our people safe?’

 

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