Workplace emergencies have become so common that there’s now an entire field devoted to the concept of emergency management. An emergency manager might seem like dead weight on your payroll until the need for disaster management kicks in and you’re relying on them. It’s a high paying role that can save a company from disaster and financial ruin.
Here is everything you need to know about emergency management.
Finding A Place for an Emergency Manager
The purpose of an emergency manager is to ensure that your company is prepared for any kind of scenario. As stories of workplace violence seem to plague the news cycle, there are new threats that we never had to worry about before. With the addition of climate change to the mix, there are catastrophic weather reports coming to us every couple of weeks.
When you own a business, you need to have some kind of plan for dealing with issues like this, before all hell breaks loose.
Following a catastrophe, there’a reasonable about of regrouping that needs to be done. However, without a plan, things can descend into chaos and you might never recover from financial losses. Imagine a wildfire that tears through your office, only to leave you unable to keep your business running.
Your emergency manager’s job is to put together a plan and keep your business prepared for problems as your business grows and develops.
Interruptions in workflow can be difficult to recover from if your business is small or newly created. It takes a lot of work just to get a business to start and if a hurricane were to wipe it out, that would be a shame for you and your business community.
Building a Plan
Since the field of emergency management is relatively new and still developing, it’s natural for a new emergency manager to not know what your business needs. It’s up to you as the owner to lay out what’s essential for your business to thrive after a disaster.
Your plan needs to have measures to protect all of your staff, even if they work remotely or out in the field. It should also protect your site, facilities, and infrastructure. The property and inventory that you have should be accounted for and you should e able to plan to get more.
Beyond that, you need to think digitally. Your company’s data is important as is expensive to collect. Your plan needs to take into account digital solutions.
Your plan should have a way for everyone to communicate on site and off site the day of a disaster. If you think you can continue your business, you need to have a site where you can regroup. Should you need to operate with limited staff, that need to be in your plan too.
It should contain these four elements.
In some cases, it’s up to you to work to prevent emergencies within your business. If there are activities, like hazardous waste dumping or improperly handling of volatile materials, the plan needs to mitigate those risks.
In lots of fields, there are unavoidable hazards. For example, the oil industry needs to adhere to strict standards and practices to avoid spills, fires, and injuries. The mitigation activities that they engage in are usually considered long before problems arise.
Decide how to help protect your employees and what kind of insurance you might need. This might entail some reshuffling within your offices but it could be well worth it.
You need to figure out how prepared you currently are and what you need to do to become more prepared. Your team needs to know where to go, what to do, and who the first person to call is. Thankfully, the first person you should usually call is your emergency manager.
Your manager will ensure that phone numbers for all relevant emergency services are posted in plain sight. Smoke and gas detectors will be placed around your site to ensure that you’re prepared.
If there are animals or livestock on your site, they need to be prepared to be sheltered in a storm or disaster.
Once you’re in the middle of a crisis, the time to prepare is over. You need to know how you’re going to respond.
This is where you’ll be including training efforts to let your staff know how to act safely. Everyone needs to be protected and secured in a location safe from the cause of the emergency.
Your first priority is of the lives of your staff and employees. No one should be left in physical harm’s way. After everyone is secure, you can worry about your facility and inventory.
You may have an off-site server that you need to start backing up to when an emergency begins. You might have trucks full of stock that need to be sent out and away from danger ASAP.
Without a plan for recovery, you and your team could be hovering in limbo for weeks or months to come. You’re going to lose money, time, and even customers following an emergency.
Recovery is how you figure out the way to bring them back or assure them that you’re ready to serve again.
This is where your alternative site would be used if your office is unusable. You can start to recover from the financial burdens of the experience once you begin the recovery process.
Emergency Management Will Keep You On Top
If there’s a major national emergency or a climate event that hits all of your regions, having an emergency manager could be the thing that saves you. While your competitors are struggling to get back on their feet, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running with gusto.
If you’re running a non-profit organization, check out our latest guide for what you need to know to keep the ball moving.