The Importance of Preparedness Training

Do your employees and associates know what to do in the case of an emergency? Sure, you’ve probably done a fire drill or two, but what about other emergencies or disasters? Are you always going to evacuate the building like you would for a fire? Probably not.

In some emergencies you’re safer if you stay inside, at least temporarily. For example, what if a chemical spill happens near your building? If you just run out into the street, you may run right into the fumes. Emergency responders can help you decide which way to evacuate, and when is safest. If there is civil unrest or a riot going on out in the street, you may want to wait until it subsides or the police direct you to safety. The same thing applies to terrorist attacks, as you don’t want to evacuate your building right into the line of fire.

In other types of emergencies, you won’t have time to evacuate the building. Do your employees know what to do if a Tornado approaches, or if an earthquake occurs? Knowing where to go ahead of time can make the difference between safety and possible life-threatening injuries.

Staying in place is generally a good strategy when there is more danger outside than inside. Staying inside is known as “sheltering in-place.” Sheltering in-place is usually a temporary method of staying safe until the danger subsides. For example, if a tornado warning is in effect for your location, it is safer to shelter in-place until the danger passes and the warning is cancelled or expires. Also, the place to shelter is not next to a big plate glass window!

Still, there are emergencies where it is absolutely advisable to get out of the building as expeditiously as possible, such as a fire or gas leak.

The point is, the time to decide what to do is definitely not when the emergency occurs. You should think through the different types of emergencies and what your best course of action is for each. This is where employee emergency preparedness training comes into play. If you take the time to inform your employees, you can ensure their safety, and therefore your talent pool.

Employees should be trained on what to do for each type of emergency. They should be taught in which emergencies to evacuate and where to meet up to ensure everyone got out safely. This will help the first-responders know if they have to rescue anyone and how many there are.

In addition, train your employees on when not to evacuate. Examples include earthquakes, tornados, thunderstorms, etc. They should also know where, in particular, to shelter. For tornados, an interior, windowless room on a lower floor is best. For earthquakes, however, choose a sturdy doorframe or shelter under a non-glass desk.

The whole point of this article is that your employees and associates must be trained to:

  1. Understand the dangers and hazards that may occur in their location

  2. Know what to in each particular case, including where to go

  3. Actually practice what to do in these situations.

The way to do this is to work through the Basic Plan you can download here to properly evaluate how to prepare. The six-step process will help you cover all the bases. Then, download the individual Hazard-Specific Information Documents for specifics on what to do before, during and after each specific hazard. Go to

and begin preparing right now!

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