Tips: Workplace Emergency Preparedness

The National Crime Prevention Council offers tips to prepare for an emergency at work.

  • Know your company’s emergency plans. If your company does not have an emergency plan, volunteer to help develop one.
  • Support each other. Determine how you will help each other in the event that public transportation is down or thoroughfares are impassable. Are there employees who could temporarily house, transport, or feed other employees?
  • Know the exit routes and evacuation plans in your building. Know at least two exit routes from each room, if possible. Be able to escape in the dark by knowing how many desks or cubicles are between your workstation and two of the nearest exits.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers and medical kits.
  • Make sure there is a designated meeting location and that every employee knows what it is.
  • Make special emergency plans for co-workers who are disabled or may require assistance during an emergency.
  • Never lock fire exits or block doorways, halls, or stairways. However, keep fire doors closed to slow the spread of smoke and fire.
  • Keep your own personal emergency supplies in a desk drawer. Consider a flashlight, walking shoes, a water bottle, and nonperishable food. Contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency for information on workplace emergency kits.
  • Have a printed list of important phone numbers (e.g., your spouse’s number at work, your children’s school numbers) at your desk. Do not rely on electronic lists, such as direct-dial phone numbers and computer organizers.

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