Workplace Disaster Management Planning


No one likes to think about disasters. Whether they are natural or human-caused, people have a tendency to shy away from thinking about them. Yet even a relatively small emergency can cause chaos. And that chaos often results in unintentional injuries and unnecessary property damage.  Keeping in mind that September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, perhaps it is time to create a disaster management plan, to protect your employees, customers and business assets.

Take Steps to Mitigate Disaster

Review the basics to assure:

  • All employees are aware of evacuation and shelter-in-place plans.
  • Emergency supplies are stocked and up-to-date.
  • Smoke detectors, alarms and extinguishers are up-to-date and functioning.
  • Exits and fire doors are unobstructed.
  • Department heads and safety personnel have taken safety training regularly.
  • Any flaws in recent drills have been addressed with employees.
  • IT systems have current cybersecurity protections.

Access Information

The Federal Emergency Management Administration and Homeland Security provide information, videos, and toolkits about disasters for community planning and recovery, businesses , and families.

Access information about your community’s disaster management plan to determine its role in supporting commerce safety. As you reach out to local emergency response leaders, begin the process of preparing or updating your corporate disaster plan.

  • Involve representation from all departments.
  • Consider the role of your safety or health officer.
  • Reach out to neighboring businesses for mutual support.

Make a Plan Steps

The business link above offers toolkits for different disasters. Each follows a set of planning steps to guide your process:

  • Identify your risks: Nearby highways or water have different risks than side roads and highland areas.
  • Develop a plan: Incorporate internal factors as well as external ones, such as the potential for fire or hazardous materials exposure.
  • Take action: Important action items are staff training and drills. Others include property considerations, such as plan approval by the owner, and securing outside equipment.

Remember the Role of Recovery

As our nation witnesses coast-to-coast disasters and tragedies, it is imperative to plan for recovery. The future of individual and business well-being is at stake.


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