Take Advantage of the Downtime to Plan Ahead

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There’s a small window on the calendar where emergency managers breathe a little easier. The time between the threat of severe winter weather and the start of hurricane season may be the only real downtime. But even then, there is plenty to plan for.
With the summer weather, comes the threats of fires, flooding, hurricanes, and tornados. As we start planning for summer vacations, breaks from school, and warmer weather, we need to consider how all of these things can affect our emergency response plans.
For example, if your organization sees an uptick of visitors in the summer as families are using school break to visit loved ones, you will want to consider how those changes can be addressed. Will there be children around? Will there be visitors that do not speak English? Will you have a shortage of staff because they are also taking a vacation?
What sorts of steps can you take now, during the ‘slow months’ to prepare for the summer? The same that you take any other time; Plan, Evaluate, and Respond.



You’ve already started the key step here, thinking about what is coming next. Preparing for upcoming events and changes to the norm will help you figure out what you need to account for in the future.



Think about the options you may have in each scenario. Can you authorize more than one person to be on vacation at a time and still safely evacuate your facility? Do you have a check-in register to know how many people are in your building at any given time? Can you implement those things in time?



Your response to an emergency, despite when and where it occurs, is what is remembered. The more time you put into the planning and evaluation stages, the easier the response is. Practice your responses, just like you did as a child.
Did you ever have a fire drill at a school where one of the exits was “blocked” to make you think about a different way to go? The same concept applies here. By planning and practicing multiple scenarios, you give your staff and your facility the best chance to successfully implement the plan in times of emergency.
If all of this has you scratching your head and wondering what you are supposed to do next, we’re here to help. Email us so we can get started.

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