Take action with an emergency response plan
An emergency plan can help you face all sorts of incidents:
- Natural disasters: wind storm, ice storm, flood, etc.
- Accidents: drinking water outage, serious injury, poisoning, etc.
- Technical disasters: fire, explosion, collapse, gas leak, water damage, power outage, etc.
- Human disasters: theft, burglary, vandalism, contamination, bomb threats, pandemics, terrorism, etc.
The objectives and advantages of an emergency response plan
The main objective of an emergency response plan is to maintain an organization’s performance in the event of a fire or other major incident by reducing risks, preventable damage and adverse effects. Developing an emergency response plan and keeping it up to date improves your company’s security and provides others advantages, such as:
- Better client and employee retention
- Increased profitability
- Greater insurability
- Reduced insurance premiums
- Shorter recovery period in the event of a disaster
- Improved company image and reputation
- Enhanced environmental protection
Set up a committee
An emergency response committee develops a plan for emergency measures. It should include key roles such as:
- A lead who is familiar with the organization and its operations
- A member of the management team who can allocate the appropriate resources
- Employees who are interested and competent
- (If necessary) specialized external resources, such as prevention specialists, risk managers, consultants, emergency plan developers and the local fire department
It’s essential to have a person in charge of media relations during a major incident to manage pressure from the press. This preventive measure will also help maintain the company’s reputation, by helping control rumours and speculations that could compromise the credibility of your business.
Develop your plan
An emergency plan should be easy to understand, as it’s going to be used in an emergency. It should get straight to the point. In short, the plan must:
- Be easy to use (quick reference tool)
- Provide the right support where needed
- Clearly define responsibilities
- Identify the exact chain of command
Once you’ve decided to develop an emergency plan, the main steps are:
- Identify risks and hazards (internal and external)
- Determine control methods to reduce or manage risks
- Identify actions to be taken and assign responsibilities
- Prepare the first draft of the plan
- Train staff
- Test the plan
- Revise the plan, if necessary
- Keep the plan up to date
Check out our other prevention fact sheets:
Are your storage lockers, stockrooms or warehouses potential fire hazards?
Make sure your business survives a natural disaster or emergency situation.
Want to learn more?
See our complete list of prevention fact sheets.
In collaboration with
JEAN-JACQUES FOURNEL, safety expert
The information in this fact sheet is of a general nature and is provided for information purposes only. It is not exhaustive. Any action taken after reading this fact sheet should be carried out safely and, if necessary, by an experienced and authorized person.