Prep Time: Ready Your Office for Disaster

Sure, you’re young, resourceful, and outdoorsy. You know how to rough it, and you’ve got a water bottle at your desk. You’re ready for an emergency at the office, right? Holly Munson, author of “Be Prepared” in the Summer 2014 issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine, disagrees.

If you’re like most people, you haven’t even scratched the surface of what emergency preparedness means for your place of employment. This emergency action plan template from the CDC is an easy way to get started. Just pull in a few buddies for a quick meeting and start filling in the blanks.

The template will help you assign important roles—like who will lead each area in an evacuation?—and get you thinking about the tough questions: What business operations will continue? Can we administer first aid if there are hazardous materials present? How will we account for everyone’s safety?

Once the completed template has got your preparedness planning started, check out a few of these more in-depth electronic resources.

Ready RatingThis website by the American Red Cross can measure your level of preparedness and make suggestions. It also offers a free first aid app so you can be ready to help.

Ready.Gov/BusinessUp-to-date and detailed, this site gives you the why and how for preparedness at the office and at home.

OSHAThis eTool can help you ensure that your business complies with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards for emergency plans.

Worried no one in the office will want to join you? Bringing earthquake cake to the safety meeting might help ward off the initial groans and open the door to planning.

e plan photo