Posted on 05/25/2015

By Lora Mays, Product Marketing Manager

One in five companies don’t have an emergency planning or business continuity plan in place, according to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA). Emergency plans provide guidance on actions, roles and responsibilities in case of an incident, whether it happens on-site or transpires from a natural disaster.

If you have an emergency plan in place, where is it stored? Who has access to it? Most organizations have this information stored in a binder, and in the event of an emergency, it requires someone to find the binder, grab it and carry it around.

In today’s world, linking your emergency planning process with a true cloud facility and maintenance management solution can simplify execution if an emergency event does happen. It can ensure procedures align with your business standards, as well as provide key stakeholders access to essential documents stored within the system.

Whether you have an emergency planning process in place or if you are implementing it for the first time, there are three key areas to focus your attention:


1. Define key areas.

Emergency plans need to have clear and concise directions for stakeholders in the event of an emergency. Because of this, outlining key roles and risks serves as the base of a comprehensive emergency plan. Who is responsible for initiating the execution of the plan? What are the actions that must be taken based on the severity of the emergency?

Also identify the highest priority functions within the organization to learn how to prioritize your efforts. For instance, you should prioritize the importance of building equipment to the function of the facility, and consider how that plays into your priority list.

2. Analyze.

It may seem odd to analyze your emergency plan before you ever execute it, but this is an important step that helps you understand what your organization would experience if there were an emergency. To start, calculate the potential costs associated with downtime caused by an emergency. If you are a manufacturing facility, for instance, understanding these numbers is imperative to know how it’ll impact the overall bottom line of the organization.

As part of your analysis, take a look at your execution plan. It's important to consistently update your communication plan, as you want to be sure all employees are aware of protocol in the event of an emergency.

3. Execute.

While you cannot fully execute upon your emergency plan until an actual emergency occurrs, there are several things that can be done in the meantime. For one, you need to test the various elements of the plan to ensure they are helping to minimize risk. To do so, conduct drills with all the key stakeholders to gauge response and execution.

Adjust your plan based on the insight that you gain through the practice sessions. The emergency plan should continually be refreshed as your business and conditions change.  

Learn how an automated facility and maintenance management solution can help you streamline your emergency planning processes in this free brochure about 360Facility Emergency Planning.