Does Your Small Business Need an Emergency Evacuation Plan?

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In a blink of an eye, an emergency, natural disaster or human disaster can occur and disrupt your normal business day. Most people freeze or panic in the wake of a disaster, so it is very important that you and your small business are prepared for anything that comes your way. A great way to make sure your business and your employees are prepared is by creating an Emergency Evacuation Plan (EAP) and by ensuring all employees are well versed in all the rules and procedures. That way, when a disaster strikes, everyone knows exactly what he or she needs to do.

One of the most important things you must do as a small business owner is to be prepared for any and all emergencies, including natural disasters or human disasters. Natural disasters include floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or pandemics. Human disasters include violence, terrorism, or general work place accidents. Additionally, local officials can order a business to evacuate and shut off utilities, in order to protect the health and safety of employees.

It is crucial that your business has an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) with specific policies and procedures for an evacuation to avoid added confusion, injuries or property damage. The EAP covers procedures for assisting disabled or non-English speaking employees. It also tells employees what operations should be shut down during an evacuation.

An EAP designates an evacuation coordinator who is responsible for enforcing the EAP. The coordinator assesses the emergency situation to determine if employees need to evacuate. They also supervise the evacuation and coordinate the outside emergency services. If necessary, the coordinator can directly shut down business operations, too. Finally, the coordinator is responsible for accounting for personnel after the evacuation.

As a part of the EAP, every business is required to have an alarm or communication system that can quickly alert the employees to evacuate the building. Security Essentials of Lexington offers commercial alarm systems that can alert your entire small business of an emergency, and provide them with the appropriate actions to take. They are also required to post all evacuation procedures, routes, and exits. All primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits must be well marked and lit. They also must be large enough for all employees that need to evacuate. It is crucial that all exits are unobstructed at all times.

The EAP also designates what should happen after an evacuation. It should designate an assembly area for all employees so they can be easily accounted for and identified. All non-employees and customers should also be accounted. If any employees or customers are missing, then you should give emergency officials their last known location.

It is very important for all small businesses to be prepared with an Emergency Action Plan to ensure that all disasters go as smoothly as possible. The Center for Disease Control has an Emergency Action Plan template that can be modified to fit your specific needs. Security Essentials of Lexington has commercial alarm systems and other alarm systems that can be used in the event of an emergency to alert your business of an evacuation and of any emergency announcements. Security Essentials of Lexington is your one stop shop commercial security alarm company in Lexington, Kentucky and the surrounding areas.

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