Review Test Train and Maintain
After completion, the Emergency Plan needs to be reviewed with all employees on a regular basis.
With respect to training, the basic rule of thumb is that when an emergency occurs, employees should know who is in charge, what they are responsible for, what they are not responsible for, where they should go and what types of potential emergencies exist and corresponding emergency procedures. Employees should at least know where the fire extinguishers are and have seen a demonstration on how to use them.
Employees should be trained in safety and first-aid as well as CPR. Cross-training should be considered to allow employees to replace a missing co-worker. Research has shown that people generally respond to an emergency in the way they have been trained.
With respect to testing, a full-blown test may not be feasible. However, tests like unplanned evacuations should be treated and evaluated as tests of your recovery ability. At a minimum, a full test should occur once a year.
Your Emergency Plan should be routinely reviewed and updated. For example, schedule maintenance for information that is critical to a successful recovery like major changes to technology infrastructure, new business processes and personnel changes. A plan that is not maintained may be dangerous and worse than no plan at all. The cost to review, train, test and maintain is very little, yet yield immediate benefits of:
• improving communications within the organization.
• highlighting vulnerable points in the organization’s operations.
• ensuring that the organization has its best possible chances of surviving.
Meet with outside organizations such as the fire and police departments so they are aware of your Emergency Plan.