Being prepared is essential to reduce the fear, anxiety, and losses that come with disasters. Communities, families, and individuals must know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a severe storm. Planning ahead is a fundamental part of the program as it can identify deficiencies such as lack of resources or items that can be proactively resolved. It also promotes safety awareness and shows the organization's commitment to worker safety.
Emergencies can create a variety of hazards for workers in the affected area. Having an emergency preparedness plan is as important to the survival of your small business as your business plan. Emergency response organizations must coordinate with employers in their jurisdictions to ensure 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. Educating your community about the importance of emergency preparedness can encourage people to stock up on additional medications to ensure they have what they need in the event of a disaster. 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. An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is recommended to all employers and aims to facilitate and organize the actions of employers and workers during workplace emergencies. Emergency preparedness is a fundamental aspect of the work of all medical professionals, especially first responders. Developing a comprehensive emergency action plan involves conducting a hazard assessment to determine what physical or chemical hazards, if any, inside or outside workplaces could cause an emergency. Workers designated to help in emergency situations should know workers with special needs (who may need additional help during an evacuation), how to use and instruct others to use the partner system, and the hazardous areas to avoid during an emergency evacuation. Employers and workers may have to deal with an emergency when it is least expected and proper planning is needed before an emergency to respond effectively.
Emergency responses to releases of hazardous substances are covered by the OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard (29 CFR 1910.120). The American Red Cross website contains links to resources on personal emergency kits, emergency planning and communications. In conclusion, being prepared for emergencies is essential for communities, families, and individuals. It is important for employers and workers alike to have an emergency preparedness plan in place before an incident occurs. Planning ahead can identify deficiencies such as lack of resources or items that can be proactively resolved.
It also promotes safety awareness and shows the organization's commitment to worker safety.