In today’s crime climate, you must have an emergency preparedness plan to protect employees and stakeholders. This has become especially true for institutions like schools and hospitals.

The following information will help you create—or revise—an emergency preparedness plan.

Evaluate Threat Risk

Determine what can go wrong. From bioterrorism to an unwelcome visitor, businesses are vulnerable to a range of uncommon, but serious threats. What will your employee do if the mail he or she just opened contains anthrax? How will your staff react if they notice medication is missing or if confronted by a hostile visitor?

These are all items that must be addressed in a business emergency preparedness document. Consider possible threats to your organization, and map out a contingency plan for each. This way, all employees know the hierarchy of decision-making and what to do in each situation.

Elements of a Strong Emergency Plan

Business emergency preparedness plans should be well thought out policies that address every perceivable question an employee or staff member may have during a crisis. Make sure your emergency plan includes:

  • A clear chain of command
  • A list of who should be notified for different types of emergencies
  • Evacuation procedures for situations that call for them
  • Appropriate response steps per situation
  • How employees will be kept informed

Establish Emergency Communication Channels

Strong communication channels are one of the best ways to control a threatening situation. Some institutions, such as primary schools, utilize the intercom speaker to relay an agreed upon code—such as “Mr. Fox is in the building”—to communicate that the building’s safety has been compromised. This can, however, tip off the unwanted visitor that they’ve been identified.

Instead, leverage technology solutions such as an emergency alert notification system (EANS) to:

  • Discreetly notify personnel via SMS text message, email or phone call
  • Trigger messages via web, phone call or automated processes
  • Customize messages to convey which protocol is in effect
  • Link EANS with the business’ security system

Dealing with a safety emergency can be difficult, but the right security technology can help mitigate risk.

Image Source: Martin Howard via Flickr