When it comes to the development of an effective emergency action plan (EAP) for your operation, keep the Five P's in mind.
Predict. At first glance, it might appear that emergencies aren't predictable. But they are. While you might not know the timing of an emergency, you can anticipate which types of incidents are most likely to happen. For instance, if your operation is located in an area subject to hurricanes, your EAP should include provisions for hurricanes.
Prepare. Different actions and different responses are needed for different types of emergencies. Once you've identified the most likely types of incidents, make provisions for responding to that type by, for instance, stocking emergency supplies specifically for hurricanes.
Protect. An effective EAP describes how workers will be protected during emergencies and how resources will be used. It should spell out what employees – as well as visitors – are supposed to do during an incident.
Practice. Workers need to participate in drills in order to learn their specific roles throughout an emergency. After the drills, provide staffers with a chance to offer feedback on what worked and what didn't work.
Patrol. Because EAPs are living documents, they need to be constantly updated. Annual reviews can uncover potential shortcomings in the plan and identify any changes that need to be made.
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