What Does Your Emergency Planning Process Look Like?
Emergency plans need to have clear and concise directions for stakeholders in the event of an emergency. So, outlining key roles and risks serves as the foundation of a comprehensive emergency plan.
Most organizations have this information stored in a binder, and in the event of an emergency, someone has to find the binder.
One in five companies don’t have an emergency plan 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 the emergency event happens on-site or is impacted by a natural disaster.
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 plan in place or if you're implementing a plan for the first time, you should focus your attention on 3 key areas:
1. Define the roles and risks.
- 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, you need to identify the functions within the organization in order to prioritize your efforts. For example, 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 the plan.
It may seem odd to analyze your emergency plan before you ever execute it, but this analysis 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. For example, if you're a manufacturer, an understanding of these numbers is imperative to estimate the impact to your organization's bottom line.
As part of your analysis, take a look at your execution plan. It's important to update your communication plan on a regular basis, so you can ensure employees are aware of the protocol in the event of an emergency.
3. Execute the plan.
While you can't fully execute upon your emergency plan until an actual emergency occurrs, there are several things that can be done to test your plan. For one, you must test the various elements of the plan to ensure these elements are helping to minimize risk. To do so, conduct drills with all the key stakeholders to gauge response and execution.
Based on the insight that you gain through these practice sessions, make adjustments to your plan. The emergency plan should be refreshed continually as your business and conditions change.