Training

Ready or Not: Disasters Still Come

Because most workplace emergencies happen with little or no warning, you need to ensure that workers know in advance what they should and should not do in case of an emergency. They may not have time during an emergency to read the company policy for the particular emergency they are facing.

Late summer can bring tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms with power outages, and other severe weather conditions. Violent and/or terrorist actions can happen at any time, as can accidents leading to fires and other building emergencies. Ready or not, these events can happen, which is why it’s crucial for you to regularly conduct disaster training with your employees.

It’s also crucial to review your organization’s emergency action plan in general and in specific circumstances. Perhaps annually, go over the general principles that the disaster planning emergency plan covers in detail, such as:

  • Emergency escape procedures and routes for all departments and employees
  • Emergency response assignments to be followed by employees who remain in the facility to perform critical operations or shutdown operations before the plant is completely evacuated
  • Accounting for personnel outside the facility after the emergency evacuation has been completed
  • Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are designated to perform these vital emergency response tasks
  • Emergency reporting procedures for fires and other emergencies
  • Information resources, including the names and job titles of the people or departments to be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan

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At certain times of the year when specific dang


ers may occur, do a training session on how to be ready for that particular disaster. For example:

  • During tornado season, give your workers a session on how to respond to a tornado warning on the job or at home.
  • Spring is often a good time to train employees to cope with flooding, including driving on flooded roads.
  • If you’re located in an earthquake zone, any time of year is an appropriate time to discuss earthquake safety procedures.
  • Any time of year is also a good time to train in workplace violence prevention and response.

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Why It Matters

  • This has been an overactive year for tornadoes across a large swath of the country.
  • Being prepared can save lives.
  • Taking precautions can also help prevent property damage.
  • Overall disaster planning can alleviate the destruction from all types of disasters.

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