Emergency Evacuation Plan - How to develop one for your business

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Sometimes, emergency situations are unavoidable.  But how an organization responds to those situations may be the difference between life and death.  As such, it’s imperative that your business prepare an emergency evacuation plan because there’s no telling when a fire, bomb threat, or some other event may put your employees in danger.

Fire Evacuation Planning

Since they differ in location, size, and other factors, it’s necessary to create an emergency plan for each facility you maintain.  If you haven’t already, assemble an emergency planning committee (EPC) to oversee emergency planning.  This group will also develop your emergency evacuation plan.  Be sure to include advisors with qualifications in relevant areas, including emergency planning and significant disciplines specifically associated with the noted facility. 

When developing the emergency evacuation plan, consult specialists as necessary.  Do not forget to consult the facility’s security procedures as well, which should be consistent with any emergency plan.  Also look at the plans of close-by facilities for guidance and to ensure consistency.

The EPC, along with you emergency control organisation (ECO), facility management and other staff, will be in charge of maintaining and implementing your plans.  The emergency evacuation plan should include, at minimum, the following elements:
·        Prevention procedures
·        Preparedness procedures, including training and maintenance activities
·        Mitigation procedures to reduce the impact of emergencies
·        Response arrangements and strategies
·        ECO Roles and responsibilities

The structure of the plan itself is simple and clear.  It must consist of the following:
1.      Scope and statement of purpose
2.      Details about the purpose and arrangement of the emergency planning committee
3.      Facility identification
4.      Details about the emergency features of the noted facility
5.      Details regarding the facility’s infrastructure and organization
6.      Emergency plans, which should include the following:
o   Outcomes of emergency identification
o   Response procedures for emergencies
o   An emergency evacuation plan diagram
o   Training activities
7.      Details regarding the distribution of this emergency plan
8.      Records of distribution of the this emergency plan
9.      Specified hours of occupancy of operation of the noted facility
10.   The period of validity for this emergency plan, as decided upon by the EPC

Development of an emergency evacuation plan is an easily done process that is absolutely necessary to protect the lives and health of your employees.  For more detailed instruction about developing a plan, consider downloading the Evacuation Planning Help Guide, which will provide further assistance. If you need help about your Annual Trial Evacuation please contact us today.