Todd Jerome Jenkins, MS, CSP, SMS, ASP, CHST, STSC

Safety Aficionado & Ph.D. Student

Weekly Safety Topic – Emergency Evacuation Plan

Emergency Action Plan

Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, active shooters, tornadoes, explosions, blizzards, ice storms, civil unrest, fires, building collapses, terrorism, and crane accidents are among the disasters that can require evacuation. It is possible for disasters to strike at any time and without warning, whether they are natural or man-made. As a result, it’s essential not only to have an evacuation plan but also to regularly review it.

Plans need to be developed before a disaster or event occurs in order to be useful and effective. The development of an evacuation plan typically involves everyone, from senior management to front-line employees. It is even possible for the owner or client to be represented in the plan. As part of the plan, a number of “What if?” questions should be asked, followed by steps to be taken. Each person or organization’s mobile number should also be included in the emergency phone call list. Utility providers and emergency services should also be included on the list.

Some questions to consider:

  • Who has the authority to implement the evacuation plan?
  • Has anyone been assigned as a backup in case the authorized person is not on site?
  • How will you communicate-alarms, two-way radios, or cell phones?
  • Will someone have to spread the word personally?
  • What and where are the actual evacuation routes?
  • Where will people go when they evacuate?
  • How long will it take them to get there?
  • How will you know that everyone has left the site?
  • Is it possible to do a complete head count, or will someone have to walk through the site to ensure that everyone has evacuated?
  • How will the site be secured, and who will do it?
  • Will anyone be required to stay behind?
  • Where will that person be located?
  • How will people be notified to come back to work?

The evacuation plan should be understood in order to evacuate quickly and safely. Don’t be caught off guard by not knowing what to do!

Learn more about Emergency Evacuation Planning.

https://www.osha.gov/etools/evacuation-plans-procedures/eap/

https://www.ready.gov/evacuation

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