How To Write An Emergency Evacuation Plan

How To Write An Emergency Evacuation Plan

If a major emergency happens, would your business be prepared? One of the most important aspects of emergency planning is creating an emergency evacuation plan. That’s why every business should have an emergency evacuation plan in place. If something unexpected happens and employees need to be evacuated, you’ll want to ensure everyone knows what to do and where to go. This document outlines the steps that need to be taken to ensure the safety of employees and customers during an emergency. This blog post will discuss an emergency evacuation plan, why it’s important, what should be included, and how to write an effective emergency evacuation plan.

 

What is an Emergency Evacuation Plan?

An emergency evacuation plan is a document that outlines a set of procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation. The plan should be designed to ensure the safety of employees and customers while minimizing business disruptions. 

With this, your company can facilitate safe evacuations in case of workplace-related emergencies. It will contain important information such as exit routes, locations of safe areas, and specific steps to follow for every type of emergency.

 

Why is an Emergency Evacuation Plan Important?

An emergency evacuation plan is important because it can help save lives and protect property in an emergency. In addition, having a plan in place can ensure that everyone knows what to do and where to go in an emergency. 

In the event of a fire, for example, an emergency evacuation plan can help employees and customers safely exit the building. Likewise, an emergency evacuation plan can help employees and customers evacuate to safe areas in the event of a flood.

 

The Most Common Types of Emergencies to Prepare For

Emergencies are classified into four main categories. Each of these categories has corresponding types of emergencies to prepare for:

  • Natural Disasters: earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes.
  • Fires and Explosions: gas leak explosions, Class A to D and K fires.
  • Release of Hazardous Materials: Toxic gas releases, chemical spills, nuclear accidents.
  • Act of Violence: terrorist attacks, bomb threats, active shooter.

 

When is Evacuation Needed?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to develop and implement emergency action plans whenever there is a potential emergency that could require evacuation. OSHA states that actions and responses for all types of emergencies should still be determined and decided on a case-to-case basis.

To make this decision quicker during an actual emergency, employers should also assess the vulnerability of their workplace to specific hazards. This will help determine when an evacuation is needed and the best course of action to take.

To determine the course of action during an emergency, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How likely is this type of emergency to happen in our workplace?
  • What is the potential severity of this emergency?
  • How will this emergency impact our employees, customers, and business operations?
  • Are there any specific hazards in our workplace that could make this emergency more severe?
  • Do we have any emergency procedures to address this type of emergency?
  • Are our employees aware of these emergency procedures?
  • How prepared is the workplace to handle this type of emergency?

 

Components of an Emergency Evacuation Plan?

An emergency evacuation plan includes the following elements:

  • A clear chain of commands (based on roles and responsibilities).
  • Contact information of local emergency services and authorities.
  • The go-to communication method during an emergency.
  • Floor plan and exit routes
  • Specific evacuation method of communication during an emergency.
  • Located in designated assembly points and safe areas.

 

How to Write an Emergency Evacuation Plan

For employers who need guidance on writing an emergency evacuation plan for their workplace, refer to the steps outlined below:

 

Evaluate the Emergency

The first step is to evaluate the emergency. This includes understanding the type of emergency and its potential severity. Employers should also assess the workplace for any specific hazards that could make the emergency more severe.

 

Determine Who Will Be Involved in the Emergency Evacuation Plan

The next step is determining who will be involved. This includes employees, customers, and emergency responders.

 

Determine Exit Routes

Map out all possible exit routes from the workplace. Be sure to identify any emergency exits that may be locked or obstructed. OSHA provides some best practices when it comes to exit routes in the workplace:

  • A workplace should have two exit routes at least.
  • Exit routes should be in different key locations.
  • Doors should open in the evacuation direction and be unlocked from the inside.

 

Check and test the exit routes to ensure they are clear and accessible. Note that exit routes should be spacious since employees may not follow the standard one-line policy during an emergency.

 

Designate an Assembly Point

The assembly point is the designated safe area for employees to go to after they have evacuated the workplace. This should be a safe distance from the workplace and away from any emergency.

Employers should also designate a secondary assembly point in case the primary assembly point is unsafe or inaccessible. At the same time, scout potential safe areas and ask the following questions while you’re there:

  • Is the area well-lit?
  • Is the area usually and relatively safe?
  • Is the area easily accessible to emergency services?
  • Will employees have difficulty locating this area?
  • Does the area have good cellular signals?
  • Could the area be obstructed during an emergency?

 

Develop Evacuation Procedures

Once you’ve all the necessary information, it’s time to start developing evacuation procedures. This includes writing down the steps employees need to take during an emergency.

While every emergency is different, some general steps should be included in every emergency evacuation procedure:

  • Notify employees of the emergency and evacuate the workplace immediately.
  • Do not use the elevators. Take the stairs instead.
  • If possible, turn off all electrical equipment before evacuating.
  • Help any employees who may need assistance evacuating the workplace.
  • Proceed to the assembly point and do not return to the workplace until the emergency has passed.

 

Assign Responsibilities

The next step is to assign responsibilities to employees. This includes designating someone in charge of the emergency evacuation plan and ensuring that all employees know their roles and responsibilities.

It’s also important to have a plan for employees who may not be able to evacuate the workplace on their own. This could include employees with disabilities or those who work in hazardous areas.

 

Practice the Emergency Evacuation Plan

Once the emergency evacuation plan is written, it’s important to practice it. This will help employees become familiar with the steps they need to take in an emergency and ensure that the evacuation plan is effective.

Employers should conduct regular emergency drills and practice evacuating the workplace. This will help employees become familiar with the steps they need to take in an emergency and ensure that the evacuation plan is effective.

 

Review and Update the Plan as Needed

Finally, regularly reviewing and updating the emergency evacuation plan is important. This will ensure that the plan is up-to-date and effective. Ensure to notify and re-train employees when you update your plan.

 

Create an Emergency Evacuation Plan with DATAMYTE

If you’re looking for a platform to create and implement your emergency evacuation plan, DATAMYTE and its Digital Clipboard are the ideal solutions. With our workflow automation software, you can create a comprehensive emergency evacuation plan and put it into practice quickly and easily.

With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you have software that will help you create emergency evacuation plans for every type of emergency. And with our drag-and-drop interface, you’ll be able to add, remove, and edit items on your plan on a whim without starting from scratch. Plus, you can share your plan digitally with employees and emergency responders with a few clicks.

The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is the only software you’ll ever need when creating and implementing your emergency evacuation plan. So get started today by booking a demo with us!

 

Conclusion

It might not be on top of your priority list, but it may be time for you to start thinking about emergency evacuation plans for your workplace.It is a crucial part of any emergency preparedness plan and can help ensure the safety of your employees in the event of an emergency.

 

 

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