Emergency Planning: The Most Important Part of Preparing for Emergencies

When it comes to emergency planning, communication is key. Agile and efficient communication is essential for mitigating loss of life and keeping first responders safe. In an emergency, the first priority is always the safety of life, followed by the stabilization of the incident. To stabilize an incident and minimize potential damage, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation by trained employees can save lives, while the use of fire extinguishers can help extinguish small fires.

Containing a small chemical spill and monitoring building services and systems can also help minimize damage to a building and prevent environmental damage. Prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery are the five steps of emergency management. Prevention refers to measures that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency occurring, or reduce the harmful effects of inevitable emergencies. Typical mitigation measures include the establishment of building codes and zoning requirements, the installation of shutters and the construction of barriers such as dams. Preparedness activities increase a community's capacity to respond when a disaster occurs. Typical preparedness measures include the development of mutual aid agreements and memorandums of understanding, training both response personnel and interested citizens, conducting disaster exercises to strengthen training and testing capacities, and launching education campaigns about emergency preparedness.

Response actions are carried out immediately before, during and immediately after a hazardous impact with the objective of saving lives, reducing economic losses and alleviating suffering. Recovery measures are taken to return a community to normal or almost normal conditions, including the restoration of basic services and the repair of physical, social and economic damage. According to experts, frequent and honest communication with occupants and tenants is the most important part of emergency preparedness. Anderson says that another committee position in the run-up to the NATO Summit was to gather information provided by the host city and law enforcement, and to transmit that and other information to tenants. Emergency response organizations must coordinate with employers in their jurisdictions to ensure that they are prepared to safely respond to and perform necessary rescue operations in workplaces that may pose unique or particularly hazardous conditions for personnel in emergency response. The page is not intended to address PPE for all emergency response situations, including certain operations specific to police, firefighting and emergency medical personnel.

Emergency responses to releases of hazardous substances are covered by the OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard (29 CFR 1910.120).If you decide to do nothing more than call for help and evacuate, you should prepare an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that includes immediate notification of emergency services, protective measures for the safety of life, and accounting for all employees. The first step in developing an EAP is to perform a risk assessment to identify potential emergency scenarios. When drafting an EAP, consider selecting a responsible person to direct and coordinate the emergency plan and evacuation. Developing a comprehensive EAP involves conducting a hazard assessment to determine what physical or chemical hazards inside or outside workplaces could cause an emergency. Public emergency services include fire departments that can also provide rescue services, hazardous materials and emergency medical services. Having an emergency preparedness plan is as important to the survival of your small business as your business plan.

Employers and workers may need to deal with an emergency when it's least expected, so proper planning is necessary before an emergency in order to respond effectively. During an emergency involving the release of a hazardous substance, emergency response workers who operate outside contaminated areas but are expected to have contact with contaminated victims may need level C or D personal protective equipment. Larger industrial operations may have special fire brigades or emergency response units trained to perform shutdowns and other emergency procedures when other workers need to evacuate.

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