Are you prepared? Emergency response planning provides your staff with the information needed to effectively respond when – not if – an incident occurs. The ability to assess a situation, and make immediate decisions, is crucial to quickly mitigate any emergency.

Organization-wide emergency plans establish a consistent approach to ensure all your employees and locations follow guidelines and policies that meet your overall intent. These strategies are then supplemented by facility-specific programs, customized by location, that provides employees with essential emergency information, such as procedures and protocols, contact information, maps and floor plans, and utility information – when they need it most.

The ability to quickly assess a situation, and make immediate decisions, is crucial to mitigate emergencies quickly.

Dwight Eisenhower said it best, “Plans are nothing, planning is everything.” Many have heard this quote, but few understand its true meaning. Are plans really “nothing?” Of course not, but the process of planning is more important than the plan itself.

Developing emergency plans not only creates the opportunity to provide guidance and direction to your staff, but it can also reveal potential deficiencies in resources and training. Deficiencies that can be remedied before an emergency occurs. Understanding the concepts behind the response can alleviate the stress that clouds judgment and causes the inability to respond when – not if – an incident transpires.

We don’t carve procedures in stone. No single protocol can fit every situation, and effective emergency plans don’t mandate response actions. Murphy’s Law will dictate how an emergency unfolds, and we must empower employees to make decisions based on how the situation is directly affecting them. That’s called an options-based response.

Not having emergency plans in place can lead to an ineffective and chaotic response that results in unnecessary injuries, loss of resources, or worse. It can also lead to legal issues for not preparing your organization.

Overall, emergency planning promotes a confident, proactive stance to preparedness that will positively affect your organization’s environment.