Facility Dude

Beef up your emergency preparedness: Have a contact list

By FacilityDude
Feb 19, 2015

Safety and Risk Management

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Every facility manager knows that disaster can strike at any time, even when you think you've prepared for every possibility. Your facility has an emergency response plan, but do you know how effective it will be in the case of a real crisis?

While emergencies can take any form, the underlying common thread that they all share is chaos and confusion. In the midst of an emergency evacuation, communication can be difficult, to say nothing of knowing who to call in the first place. If your response plan doesn't include a contact list, you should consider updating your policies. A contact list can offer guidance and relief through several stages of a disaster.

During the emergency

Once an emergency is identified within a facility, the clock is ticking. Administrators and building staff have to juggle competing priorities, like ensuring a speedy and safe building evacuation with trying to limit damage to the building itself, or any essential equipment or infrastructure. Knowing what to do and also who to call in the event of an emergency is a critical first step for any plan.

It may seem straightforward in many cases - after all, if a fire breaks out, you should call the fire department. But what about less clear-cut issues, like a potential disease outbreak or other public health emergencies? Contacting the proper authority is an obvious first step, but the communication doesn't stop when the fire department has been called. It's essential that occupants and staff members can communicate instantaneously and effectively. Devise a contact list or a phone tree using either social media, text messaging or old-fashioned phone calls so everybody can be accounted for.

After the emergency

When the dust settles, the work is, in many ways, just beginning. Assessing building maintenance and damage is the first step in bringing a facility back up to speed. In instances where large amounts of inventory have been lost or essential equipment has sustained heavy damage, do you know who the best person to contact is? FacilitiesNet pointed out that an emergency contact list should also include people like suppliers, vendors and repair companies.

Cultivating a list of trusted business partners that you can contact whenever needed can save your facility time and money after a disaster.

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