Emergency Planning 101: Create Your Plan Now


A fire. A flood. An earthquake. An explosion.

There are many events that will require you to put an emergency plan in place. By having that plan, you can hopefully reduce the impact that any emergency will have on your business operations and your people.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests that an emergency plan contains the following:

  • All possible emergencies, consequences, required actions, written procedures and the resources available
  • Detailed lists of personnel, including their home telephone numbers, their duties and responsibilities
  • Floor plans
  • Large scale maps showing evacuation routes and service conduits (such as gas and water lines)

When determining what procedures should be followed during an emergency, it’s important to take the following into consideration: the nature and degree of the emergency; size of the organization; capabilities of the organization in an emergency situation; immediacy of outside aid; and physical layout of the premises.

As you build and prepare your emergency plan, keep these CCOHS requirements in mind:

  • Identify evacuation routes, alternate means of escape, make these known to all staff; keep the routes unobstructed.
  • Specify safe locations for staff to gather for head counts to ensure that everyone has left the danger zone. Assign individuals to assist employees with disabilities.
  • Carry out treatment of the injured and search for the missing simultaneously with efforts to contain the emergency.
  • Provide alternate sources of medical aid when normal facilities may be in the danger zone.
  • Ensure the safety of all staff (and/or the general public) first, then deal with the fire or other situation.

What steps will you take today to start creating your emergency plan?

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