Because custodial workers are often on the front lines during an emergency situation, managers must them with the tools and knowledge they need to react in emergency or disaster. September is National Preparedness Month, and the theme this year is “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”
To help you make sure your team and facility are prepared, we've pulled together a short list of "refresher" activities you can do to make sure you're ready for any emergency that comes your way:
1. Review your current emergency action plan. Make sure the plan includes the potential hazards and risks, along with specific assignments of who does what when.
2. Check all emergency contact numbers to make sure they are up to date. This should not only include emergence response contacts, but also supporting personnel and key vendors who can assist with cleanup.
3. Identify all potential risks and corresponding action plans. Assign each week in September to review the proper response for various types of emergencies (e.g. week 1- fire; week 2 - flooding; week 3 - active shooter drills; week 4 - earthquakes/hurricanes/tornadoes). Conduct training and drills to make sure all staff members are clear on their responsibilities.
4. Establish a relationship with local emergency personnel. Having a working relationship with local police, fire and medical staff, and keeping them looped into your emergency action protocols will only help in the case of an emergency. Set up a meeting over coffee or lunch to introduce yourself and find out if they have any further ideas on how to improve your emergency action plan.
What are you doing for National Preparedness Month? Do you have any suggestions for other members on how to prepare? Please share in the comments section!
For more information, please reference OSHA’s Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/eap.html.