Is This Really An Emergency?

Posted on October 10, 2018


What I’m reading: I’m currently reading the bottom line of the news.

What I’m watching: Watching Hurricane Michael as it moves over the Florida coastline.

What I’m listening to: Other than the news, my dog, Loki, is panting loudly since he just came back from the park with my wife.

Emergency Action Plans

Fire drills. From kindergarten to the office we’ve all, at one point in our life, been involved in one. We’ve been part of or managed the overall evacuation plan. They’re just as important now as they were back then. Or so they seem.

Last week the fire alarm went off in our building.

…and nobody moved. Why? We were all waiting for the announcement that it was a false alarm or just the, weekly, test of the emergency broadcast system.

everybody panic

Anyone notice the issue? The issue is that we’ve become institutionalized. We’ve locked ourselves in this mindset that every alarm is a practice alarm, this is due to the numerous times we “test” the alarms and practice drills. We, without hesitation, stayed in our seats because we’re “so sure” this is just another drill or announcement. If you’ve ever been in an evacuation due to a real emergency you’ll understand this is merely adding fuel to the fire. When our drills become normalized the purpose of those drills is forgotten, we’re preparing for an emergency. Those drills are part of the emergency action plans.

Emergency action plans are in place to facilitate and organize our actions during emergencies in the workplace. Emergency action plans should be paired with the applicable employee training programs so that all employees understand the roles and responsibilities described in the plan. These pairings equip the workplace with the tools and actions necessary to lessen the amount and severity of employee injuries as well as structural damage to the facility during emergencies. Poor plans lead to disorganized evacuations, impede emergency responses and amplify confusion. Unfortunately, one mistake in an evacuation or emergency response could cause injury, damage to facilities, or loss of life. However, can our plans be too thorough?

Ask yourself; does our situation place us in a vulnerable state? By having so many drills and tests are we setting ourselves up for failure? Are you indifferent about the situation? Does your organization even have an emergency action plan? Do you know who is on the emergency action committee? Is it one person?

Let’s chat about this. Ask me a question and provide your thoughts.

Hurricane Michael is at our doorstep, time is of the essence

Cheers, you wonderful bunch.

Close window